Results 61–80 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I completely reject Mr Carson’s analysis. It is hugely disrespectful to the public servants working round the clock for Food Standards Scotland—staff who have been provided by FSS at our instigation—who set up the hubs, such as at DFDS. The problems that have arisen have not arisen because of a lack of staff or a lack of action on our part, but because the UK Government has foisted a...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I had a brief discussion with George Eustice, who gave me very brief details of the scheme, a couple of hours before it was announced in public. The little that the UK Government has told us indicates that the fishermen compensation scheme will actually exclude fishermen. It will be the first scheme in history that was designed to support a group of people who will be ineligible for any...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I have sought to work—and it is my duty to work—constructively with George Eustice, and in the past we have done so. I find his comments that Covid has caused this issue to be incomprehensible. Nobody believes that at all, and I am astonished that he made those remarks. Will the Conservatives not just accept responsibility and say that Brexit has not worked out; that the disruption that...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Support for Tourism in West Scotland) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government recognises the difficulties that businesses throughout Scotland face and the fact that, although the restrictions are necessary, they have had a devastating impact on the sector. We have allocated almost £3 billion to support businesses. I announced a package of support worth £104 million for tourism and hospitality businesses, which was developed following many...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Support for Tourism in West Scotland) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Mary Fee makes a very reasonable point. We have worked on that long and hard. There are elements of the supply chain that are largely dependent on tourism and hospitality; the wholesale sector in particular springs to mind. I have worked long and hard with representatives of the wholesale sector to ensure that they are not left out. My task is to get lifeline support out to those who need it,...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Support) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I agree that the restrictions will continue to have a devastating impact on our hospitality and tourism sectors, but they are, of course, vital in suppressing virus transmission. As our efforts to tackle the virus progress, we will continue to build on our very constructive dialogue with the industry and listen to its concerns as we move towards recovery. Indeed, that was one of the key...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Support) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: We are working very closely with stakeholders, including the Scottish Tourism Alliance and Sail Scotland. We are working with marine tourism interests; I have met representatives and will continue to do so. To answer the member’s question, we are engaging actively with the marine tourism sector. I absolutely agree that it is an extremely important, growing and varied part of the tourism...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Support) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I have regular engagement with the UK, Welsh and Northern Irish tourism ministers. I think that Nigel Huddleston and I have a good working relationship. I made it clear that I felt that the furlough should be extended from October, and it was, to April. I fear that the furlough, as we heard in the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee this morning, does not offer sufficient...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Support) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Of course it is absolutely correct to say that many businesses are facing real financial pressure. That is why we have sought to provide support for many sectors, including marine tourism, that face real difficulties. For some areas of activity, such as taxi driving and the coach sector, there have been supports, such as the hotel fund and the pivotal enterprise fund, that I do not think have...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture Funding Review (Discussions with United Kingdom Government) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: In September 2019, I welcomed the UK Government’s acceptance of the “recommendations” and “wider observations” of the Lord Bew review. That came after five years of campaigning by the Scottish Government and Parliament for the UK Government to right that historic wrong. In its response to the Bew review, the UK Government welcomed the principle of uplift for less productive land and...

Scottish Parliament: Agriculture Funding Review (Discussions with United Kingdom Government) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The cut by the UK of £170.1 million is devastating. Incidentally, a decision was not even made clear to ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; it was communicated at a meeting of officials in September. It is a disgraceful decision. Michael Gove and George Eustice promised that, if we got out of the EU with Brexit, there would be no reduction in funding, and indeed there would be...

Scottish Parliament: International Tourists (VAT-free Shopping) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Despite the serious implications for travel, tourism and retail, there was no prior engagement between the UK Government and the Scottish Government on the matter. On 22 October, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance sent a joint letter to the UK chancellor, expressing our opposition to the proposed change and requesting a review of the...

Scottish Parliament: International Tourists (VAT-free Shopping) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I will, and I will do so when I meet Nigel Huddleston on 28 January. I am grateful to Rona Mackay for raising the issue in the Scottish Parliament. The international tourism sector is the least likely to emerge from Covid rapidly. It is the most affected, and surely VAT-free shopping is one of the factors that help to bring people into international custom and visitation. To cut that is...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Support for Food and Drink Businesses) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Since the start of the pandemic, our support for business and the economy has totalled almost £3 billion, which demonstrates our commitment to supporting the economy and providing as much financial support as possible to affected business, including food and drink businesses. We have also supported bespoke food and drink sectors. We have given £5.4 million to 40 businesses in the food and...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Support for Food and Drink Businesses) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: It is emerging that the compensation scheme will benefit only a few and that there will be quite high hurdles. Many businesses in the seafood sector that have been hit very hard during the past three weeks will therefore be absolutely spitting with rage when they find out that the promise from the Prime Minister will exclude them. He promised them El Dorado, but they are looking at insolvency...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Support for Food and Drink Businesses) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: We are working on that at the moment, and I will get back to Mr Smyth with a more detailed answer. I respectfully point out that we are in the middle of not just one but two crises—a Covid crisis and a Brexit crisis. Frankly, my day-to-day focus is on trying to help businesses that face going under, people who face losing their livelihoods and businesses that are being crippled by Brexit....

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Support for Food and Drink Businesses) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Mr McArthur raises an important point on an issue that has, again, been exacerbated by the Brexit difficulties. It will have a significant impact on things such as labelling, requiring additional costs for additional, altered and different labels for different markets. In the light of that, we will have to reconsider whether there is more that we can do. The assistance on those matters came,...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Salmon Industry) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Just as we warned, Brexit is having a devastating and immediate impact on the farmed fish sector, particularly salmon farming. The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation has estimated that the industry’s losses since 1 January are several million pounds. That is due to salmon being stuck in transit, the inability to fulfil orders on time and the lack of groupage facilities, which is...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Salmon Industry) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: That is correct. The trade agreement negotiated by the UK is such that if, at the expiry of the five-year period, the European Union does not obtain a rollover or a satisfactory deal, it will be quite entitled to impose tariffs to the level of its estimated loss in fishing effort as a result. That would see tariffs imposed on aquaculture that would have nothing to do with the common fisheries...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Industry (Meetings) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government meets weekly with the sector to discuss a range of issues including the impacts of Covid restrictions, the need for continued business support and the route to recovery. At the most recent meeting, on 13 January, I met the Scottish Tourism Alliance to discuss details of the new £185 million business support package and to hear about the progress of the new tourism and...


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