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Results 81–100 of 334 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Life Sciences Sector) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government has engaged widely across the breadth of the life sciences sector and has also commissioned Ernst & Young to undertake a sectoral impact analysis and Brexit readiness assessment. That assessment has been shared with the United Kingdom Government as clear evidence of the negative impact that Brexit will have across sectors in Scotland. It also accords with evidence from...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Life Sciences Sector) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: David Stewart makes an important point about the detriment from the removal of free movement as a whole—if indeed the UK leaves the EU and Brexit takes place. To be constructive and in good faith, I encourage David Stewart and colleagues to continue to engage with us, the Scottish Government, so that we can work together to push for flexibility in the UK immigration system by way of a...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Life Sciences Sector) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: There are two respects in which we can all work together proactively to continue to support R and D in the life sciences sector and elsewhere given the challenges posed by Brexit. First, we should continue to oppose the removal of free movement and the restrictions set out in the UK Government’s white paper on immigration. Secondly, we should all collectively work together to urge the UK...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Democratic Participation for European Union Citizens) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: EU citizens will retain their right to vote and stand in Scottish Parliament and local government elections after Brexit. We previously set out our intent to protect EU citizens’ voting and candidacy rights in Scottish Parliament and local government elections. The programme for government includes a commitment to bring forward an electoral franchise bill, which will extend the franchise to...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Democratic Participation for European Union Citizens) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Our programme for government for this year has committed to introduce a franchise bill, and we opposed the settled status fee charge. Working with Citizens Advice Scotland, we have set up our advice service to advise and help EU citizens in our communities—who make such a huge contribution—as they go through the settled status scheme. We are going over and above anything that the UK...

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Immigration Policy (Impact on Working Population) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Migration is vital to Scotland’s population growth. Each year for the next 25 years, all of Scotland’s population growth is projected to come from migration. The United Kingdom Government’s commitment to cut net migration to the tens of thousands could therefore seriously harm our economy. If that commitment is implemented, Scotland’s working age population is projected to decline by...

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Immigration Policy (Impact on Working Population) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Brexit could indeed have significant impacts on health and social care in Scotland, with potentially serious consequences for the recruitment and retention of health and social care workers. As Maureen Watt said, Brexit also raises concerns in areas such as medicines, medical devices, clinical trials, access to future EU funding and the rights of Scottish citizens to access state-provided...

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Immigration Policy (Impact on Working Population) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Just under a year ago, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, presented to the Scottish Parliament our substantial paper on how we can take practical steps and seek to influence UK policy. We have written repeatedly to UK Government ministers about our concerns about the Migration Advisory Committee report and the white paper, and we have raised those...

Scottish Parliament: Robert Burns (Legacy) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government wants to maximise the social, cultural and economic benefits of Robert Burns’s rich legacy for the whole of Scotland. Through EventScotland, we provided £30,000 to the big Burns supper in Dumfries as part of Scotland’s winter festivals. As part of that work, we commissioned the centre for Robert Burns studies at the University of Glasgow to produce a report, which...

Scottish Parliament: Robert Burns (Legacy) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I understand that representatives of Ellisland have met Historic Environment Scotland officials to discuss the trust’s plans for developing Ellisland. If they have not done so already, I encourage them to continue their dialogue to ensure that such a vital part of Scotland’s history and heritage is preserved for future generations.

Scottish Parliament: Robert Burns (Legacy) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government is committed to investment in tourism in the south of Scotland. For example, there has been a £0.5 million VisitScotland marketing campaign, £0.5 million south of Scotland capital funding and £2.5 million for the development of facilities in Galashiels, as well as investment in the David Livingstone centre in Blantyre. I thank Finlay Carson for raising the point...

Scottish Parliament: Robert Burns (Legacy) (30 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I welcome the investment that has been made and I congratulate all who are involved. I would be happy to receive an invitation as part of our planning for next year’s winter festivals, and I thank the member for that offer.

Scottish Parliament: Rotary Club of Currie Balerno (Recycling Computers) (9 Jan 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I, too, congratulate Gordon MacDonald on securing this debate and bringing the work of the Rotary Club of Currie Balerno—I warmly welcome its members to the public gallery—and the Turing Trust to the Parliament’s attention as we start the year. I thank him and other members for highlighting the Scottish Government’s international small grants programme. As members said, the Scottish...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I t is a great privilege to begin this important debate and, in doing so, to recognise and emphasise, on behalf of the Scottish Government and many others, the huge contribution that European Union citizens have made to Scotland and continue to make today. As it comes on the day after international migrants day, and just hours after the United Kingdom Government has finally published its...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I heard that important intervention. I was going to say later—but I will make the point now—that Mr Javid’s comments are erroneous and inaccurate. Taking account of what is proposed in the white paper for Scotland, our modelling estimates that it would cost Scotland’s gross domestic product around 6.2 per cent by 2040, which is equivalent to a fall in GDP of almost £6.8 billion a...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thought that Adam Tomkins would raise that example. The comparison is completely inappropriate and wrong-headed. When we buy a passport, we are not paying for our rights; to ask people who contribute huge amounts in GDP and taxation, as those individuals do, is insulting and wrong-headed. The Conservatives should think hard about their proposition because they are losing this argument.

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: In my concluding remarks, I will talk more about the fee and the disastrous white paper that has been put forward. The people of Scotland should be at the heart of this issue, and the people of Scotland of course include EU citizens who have done us the compliment of making their homes here. I hope—maybe I am being too hopeful—that Parliament will say today with one voice to our friends,...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: On those points, which are important, does Mr Tomkins regret the fact that the Prime Minister stated that EU citizens had been “skipping the queue” in coming to the UK to make the contribution that they do?

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Contribution to Scotland) (19 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all those who have contributed to this debate about the 223,000 EU citizens from elsewhere in the EU who have accorded us the privilege of making Scotland their home. I welcome the supportive statements, the valuable conclusions and, indeed, the moving stories from around the chamber—and all of Scotland—about the huge contributions that EU citizens in our communities make to the...

Scottish Parliament: Remembering Conscientious Objectors (5 Dec 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Alison Johnstone for lodging the motion and enabling us to have this important debate. The debate has been interesting and illuminating and I appreciated the quality, sensitivity and depth of members’ speeches, as well as members’ personal reflections. It is fitting that we have this debate a week after St Andrew’s day, given that, as Alastair McIntosh said in the St Andrew’s...


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