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Results 1–20 of 325 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee (11 Dec 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I met the Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee in November 2018. Scottish Government officials most recently met the MAC on 25 September. The Scottish Government submitted a formal response last month to the MAC’s call for evidence on salary thresholds in the UK immigration system and on the dynamics of a points-based immigration system. In our engagement with the MAC, the Scottish...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee (11 Dec 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I share Linda Fabiani’s sentiments in condemning the Prime Minister’s remarks, and I support her important words about the net contribution of EU migrants not only to our economy and our public services, but in terms of the wider enrichment of our society. Scotland is a welcoming and open nation, and we want it to remain so. As Linda Fabiani is, the Scottish Government is grateful to...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee (11 Dec 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The number of applications for the EU settlement scheme continues to rise. As we anticipated, there was a significant uplift in October this year, before the Brexit deadline. We continue to invest in our support services through the Citizens Advice Scotland network of bureaux, where individuals who would like support and, crucially, advice on the EU settlement scheme can get it face-to-face,...

Scottish Parliament: St Andrew’s Day (28 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I am delighted that my Europe, migration and international development portfolio includes celebration of Scotland’s winter festivals, including St Andrew’s day. It is great to have this opportunity in Parliament, thanks to Tom Arthur and all the members who supported his motion, to debate the importance of St Andrew’s day. I also thank members of the cross-party group on St Andrew’s...

Scottish Parliament: Pakistan Development Programme (20 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Since 2013, through the British Council, the Scottish Government’s international development programme has provided scholarships in Pakistan to more than 500 women from disadvantaged backgrounds to study in higher education and to more than 4,000 children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Of those scholarships, 1,200 were provided to children from minority backgrounds and 35 to women from...

Scottish Parliament: Pakistan Development Programme (20 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government strongly condemns the persecution of all minorities—including the targeting of innocent people based on their beliefs—and the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan. The Scottish Government has repeatedly raised directly with the United Kingdom Government and officials from the Government of Pakistan concerns about the issues that John Mason mentioned, and we will...

Scottish Parliament: Immigration Policy (Independent Scotland) (20 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Individuals and families who come from all over the world to work, study and settle in Scotland make vital contributions to Scotland’s economy and the delivery of public services. Inward migration enriches our society and communities. The Scottish Government is sympathetic to all those who have difficulties navigating the complex and increasingly restrictive UK immigration rules. The...

Scottish Parliament: Immigration Policy (Independent Scotland) (20 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government has long expressed concern about the current UK Government’s immigration policies, including those on asylum seekers, and about the UK Government position that asylum seekers can have no recourse to public funds. That is an area in which we could, of course, have different policies as an independent country. Outwith the constitutional question of independence, if...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I am glad to open today’s important debate but, unfortunately, I am also deeply disappointed that more than three years on from the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, EU citizens in our communities who are our friends, neighbours, colleagues and, in many cases, family continue to experience unnecessary and unpleasant insecurity and anxiety. Every member in the chamber will...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: If Mr Rowley has details of those organisations, I encourage him to feed them into my office as part of our on-going thinking about how we develop the stay in Scotland campaign, which we launched as an important mechanism to raise awareness of the EU settlement scheme, and to highlight how much the Scottish Government values the contributions that are made by EU citizens who live and work...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Adam Tomkins should consider what people from outwith the EU have experienced as a result of the hostile environment policies that have been applied to asylum seekers and others—at Dungavel, for example. On immigration policy, he should also consider the fact that, in recent days, Michael Gove has painted a picture that suggests that freedom of movement has put strain on public services and...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Will Donald Cameron clarify to members whether the Scottish Conservatives agree with Michael Gove’s assertions in the past few days, which undermine the reality that EU citizens have contributed a net benefit to this society and the overarching sense, which we should all feel and consider, that EU citizens have deeply enriched our society in many ways? Will Donald Cameron condemn Michael...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all members for their contributions to today’s important debate. As Alex Rowley said during his summing up, in the current context, and while considering Scotland’s story and Scotland’s future, it is important to talk about immigration, the value of the people who come here, and the contributions that they make and have made to our economy, public services, shared culture, and...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens’ Rights (12 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The rights of British citizens elsewhere in the EU are incredibly important, which is why I met representatives of British in Europe to hear their perspective. However, very early on in the Brexit process, the UK Government drew a red line when it came to that issue, which was an unforgivable mistake. The Conservatives’ argument for an application-based system on the basis of needing a...

Scottish Parliament: Tourist Sites (Public Safety) (7 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Provision of a safe and secure environment for visitors is a key factor in tourism destinations being able to offer a quality visitor experience. Responsibility lies with the organisations that run tourist sites, but Scottish Government agencies are certainly proactive in that regard. Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park, for example,...

Scottish Parliament: Tourist Sites (Public Safety) (7 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I offer my condolences to the family of the person in the case that Dean Lockhart mentioned. Our thoughts are with them. The points that were raised with regard to the site near Callander are important. Measures around safety and in relation to Transport Scotland’s remit need to be thought about in a wider sense. I encourage Mr Lockhart to write with more details on the case that he...

Scottish Parliament: Deaths Abroad (Support for Families) (5 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government recognises the difficulties that are faced by Scottish families who suffer the death of a loved one abroad, and ministers have met a number of families to discuss their experiences. We are grateful to the all-party parliamentary group for its serious work on a serious and emotive issue. Although it is the role of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide consular...

Scottish Parliament: Deaths Abroad (Support for Families) (5 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The all-party parliamentary group’s report is detailed and comprehensive and, as Angela Constance said, it sets out the experience of many families. I am sure that she will appreciate that the Government as a whole will want to take time to properly consider the report’s various recommendations. That said, I make it clear that we are open minded about looking at various ways of supporting...

Scottish Parliament: Deaths Abroad (Support for Families) (5 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Victim Support Scotland service for families who have been bereaved by crime provides dedicated and continuous support for families who have been bereaved by murder or culpable homicide. At present, cases involving a death abroad are outwith the scope of that service, as the report notes. The service is in its first year of operation and it has already expanded its scope to ensure the...

Scottish Parliament: UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (5 Nov 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I am glad to open this debate on stage 1 of the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill and to seek Parliament’s backing for the general principles of the bill. The UEFA championship is a remarkable sporting event that attracts global audiences, and in June and July next year—2020—we look forward to seeing the best of football at Hampden park as part of one of the biggest sporting...


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