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Results 21–40 of 334 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

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...

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

Ben Macpherson: As I expressed when I appeared before the committee a number of weeks ago, assuming that the bill is approved by Parliament, the Scottish Government intends to learn from its successful delivery and operation and to consider how a framework bill on major events might work in future. Considerations on ticket touting will undoubtedly be part of that process. Our proposals to ban touting of...

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

Ben Macpherson: First, I thank all members for their contributions to the debate this afternoon and, like others, thank the organisations that gave evidence, from different perspectives, to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee in its scrutiny of the bill. I am glad that there is clearly widespread support across the chamber for the bill’s general principles and for Glasgow taking its...

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

Ben Macpherson: I thank Mr Greer for his point, which I will come to when I speak about wider considerations of enforcement. Use of force is encapsulated in section 20, which requires a sheriff to grant a warrant or for the officer to be “accompanied by a constable”. Therefore, robust protections have been included. Conservative members and the community council, in its evidence, raised points about...

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

Ben Macpherson: We will consider those points as we go into stage 2. There are practical considerations around police officers on the ground and the allocation of resources. Nonetheless, because of the accountability points that have been raised, we will continue to consider the issue. We look forward to engagement on that as we progress, Parliament permitting, towards stage 2. With regard to ticket touting,...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Inverclyde) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Through the Glasgow city deal, we are investing over £7 million in Greenock ocean terminal, which will see an estimated 150,000 passengers disembarking each year, contributing £26 million to the Inverclyde economy. Through VisitScotland, we support the local authority, Tourism Inverclyde and Inverclyde Tourist Group to help steer strategy and tourism activity. We recently awarded...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Inverclyde) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government shares the industry ambition to see the benefits of sustainable tourism spread across Scotland. The new ocean terminal offers an excellent opportunity for Inverclyde to benefit directly from the growing cruise market, which operates in a highly competitive global market. We are all aware that building or renewing infrastructure does not on its own inevitably lead to a...

Scottish Parliament: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Relations) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government values Scotland’s good relations with our European neighbours and is determined to maintain open and constructive dialogue in the coming months and years. In November 2017, the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary Hyslop met the former ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Kingdom in Edinburgh, and, last year, Ambassador Marincic attended our St...

Scottish Parliament: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Relations) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: We support Remembering Srebrenica Scotland and allocated funding of £25,000 for 2019-20, through the promoting equality and cohesion fund, to support the charity’s work. The charity organises events to mark Srebrenica memorial day and raise public awareness, with the aim of countering discrimination and building stronger community relations. The wider Government and I would welcome...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Decline in European Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs meets the United Kingdom culture and tourism minister regularly, when that is possible. Most recently, she had meetings in June and August to discuss a number of issues, including the potentially damaging impact of any Brexit on our tourism industry, in Scotland and in the UK as a whole. Visitors from the European Union are vital...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Decline in European Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: There is no doubt that continuing Brexit uncertainty poses a threat to Scotland’s tourism industry. Figures for the year to March 2019, which the Office for National Statistics published, showed a 3 per cent decrease in European visits to Scotland and a related fall in expenditure, and a recent study that VisitBritain published earlier this year indicated that 44 per cent of European...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on European Union Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As I indicated in my response to Mr Stevenson, European visitors are essential to the success of Scotland’s tourism industry, with EU countries accounting for six of our top 10 overseas markets in 2018. Although overseas visitor numbers have increased in recent years, data for the year to March 2019 suggest that European visitor numbers fell by 3 per cent, compared with the previous year....


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