Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Relations has held discussions with Orkney’s councillors and officials over the impact of Brexit on the county’s economy. Michael Russell had taken up the invitation from OIC Leader James Stockan.
James Stockan said:
“Whatever the outcome, Brexit is likely to have considerable consequences for Orkney, our community and the Council itself and it was important we discuss this with Mr Russell.
“We considered the potential effects on sectors of key importance to the local economy, including farming, fisheries and tourism.
“Funding from Europe has been of huge importance to Orkney over the past 40 years. We welcome commitments from the Scottish and UK Governments to honour current EU funding programmes until 2020 and stressed the need for support mechanisms to continue beyond that date.
“Much uncertainty still surrounds the Brexit process and we will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and the local government umbrella organisation COSLA as we take steps to prepare for the challenges ahead.”
In the EU Referendum Orkney voted 63.2% to Remain and 36.8% Leave on a turnout of 68.3%.
After the meeting Michael Russell said:
“Many of the key industries across Scotland, including fishing, farming and tourism, will be severely impacted by Brexit and my meeting with Councillor James Stockan and other Elected Members today was an important opportunity to discuss the impact in a specific islands context.
“We know Brexit is going to have huge ramifications for Scotland and the rest of the UK, especially as we are seemingly moving towards a catastrophic no deal scenario, with less than two months to go until we leave the European Union. As a responsible Government, we are committed to taking whatever steps may be necessary to protect our vital interests and key industries.”
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is on a visit to the USA and Canada. Speaking at the Women World Leaders Week at Georgetown’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, she described the lack of preparedness of the UK Government for Brexit. She also expressed her desire for a second vote on membership of the EU – A People’s Vote.
Nicola Sturgeon said:
“ At present there seems to be no consensus in the UK Parliament for the option of Single Market and Customs Union membership – or indeed any other option – and therefore the Scottish Government’s view is that this issue should be put back to the people.”
She reiterated her intention to announce the possibility of a second referendum on Scottish Independence in the next few weeks.
“ I have said I will outline my thoughts on the timing of a possible independence referendum in the next few weeks – once the terms of Brexit are clearer.
“But, amid the chaos, confusion and uncertainty of Brexit, one thing is clearer than ever. Namely, that Scotland’s vital national interests are not properly served by relying on the Westminster system which treats Scotland as an afterthought, and that those interests can only properly be served by being an independent country.”
I hope isnt using public money to fund her nonsencical junket to the US . she should be here preparing for our forced exit from the EU very hypocritical spouting about the non preparedness from the uk gov yet , nicola sturgeon is doing nothing to prepare Scotland .instead waiting on a golden chalice from her bestie theresa may .the Scottish parly under NS watch has , neglected Scotland and the people this will end badly .
I’ve been having an exchange with someone, who, like myself and many others, is getting more and more concerned about the fine old mess we appear to be heading for – I hope he won’t mind my including his part of the exchange …I’m pretty sure he won’t mind! Here it is………….
CG – “I suppose like me you’ve been following the latest time-wasting by May. When will the DUP and May get it into their thick skulls that the long and short of it is that Ireland and the Irish people just DO NOT TRUST anything Wastemonster says or agrees to!!! So, there’ll be agreement without the ‘Back-Stop’.
Alba gu Bràth”
Me – “Exactly. That’s how I see it too – she’s just putting it off and putting it off, until, suddenly, it’s March and it’ll happen. What I don’t understand, is how this is being allowed to happen. People are queuing up to get an Irish passport, stockpiling food. Many people, in many different occupations, are worried about their future, if
Brexit happens. It’s clear that many, many people don’t want it to happen – and yet, we appear to be moving inexorably towards it happening, simply because Mrs May keep putting decisive meetings, forward and forward. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I honestly can’t help wondering who is pulling the strings. It’s the same with Trump – how is he still there? He appears to be able to do whatever he wants, actions which would have had any other President out of office – yet he’s still there.
Indeed, I am following it, but with difficulty, as it makes so little sense. And what can we do about it? This is supposed to be a democracy, and it’s clear that the people of, let’s say……..Britain, are fearful of Brexit happening, now. So – what the hell is happening? It’s beyond me, seriously beyond me, to understand why we are rolling towards something which is so likely to be harmful to the people of ……Britain.
I’ve said it a few times, in different places in TON – I am puzzled. Concerned, and puzzled. I honestly thought it wouldn’t happen. So many people who did want Brexit, don’t want it, now that they see where it is leading. It could, still be called off, except for the “time wasting” – and then …..we’ll find ourselves in a situation we don’t want, but couldn’t, or rather, weren’t allowed to, do anything about.
I still hope that it might be called off – something might happen – I don’t know what! But…I suppose I just feel that something HAS to happen. “Time wasting” – exactly. While we have to stand and watch her do so. I feel like saying to her………..”Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following.” – King Lear.
Does she not realise that she will go down with it? I’ll stop now, I’m getting cross – to no real purpose. As my Mum would say “It’d make a saint swear.”
I’ll go and chop vegetables…….say no more!
CG – “Watch the BP now, it makes me angry as well. I look upon the situation where we are staring at extreme right wing Tories who have always hated ‘Johnny Foreigner’ and hate being involved in anything that smells of co-operating with other countries unless the ‘grey suits’ of the underground establishment are in charge and throwing their weight about.
I place a lot of blame in the English ‘public school’ system which encourages a supreme elitist attitude to anyone who are not part of their elitist club. You can also see this in our parliamentary and electoral systems, a parliament that refuses to be dragged out of the 18th century, I’m even surprised that they actually have electricity.
In parliament it’s the same with their archaic voting system, if you watched last week it took several hours to deal with a handful of amendments. Scotland and Wales would have got through these in minutes thanks to their use of electronic voting and this is just one archaic practice that needs to be brought into the 21st century.
But one thing I do wish they’d stop claiming that they are ‘The Mother of Parliaments’ when in fact Iceland had a functioning parliament, the Althing, several hundred years before anything approaching the Althing appeared in England.
I’m stopping now because like you I’m getting angry.”
Chopping vegetables, is a short term solution to being angry, but it doesn’t make the situation go away, or even make it any better – what will?
A digression – but possibly a pertinent one – next bit of the exchange……….
“As to the Althing. This is a bit of a digression, but might be of interest – I’m presently reading ‘Hutton’s Arse’, an interesting and entertaining approach to geology, by Malcolm Rider. I’ve just read about the geological base of the Parliament at Thingveller, where, on one side is the North American Plate, on the other is the Eurasian Plate. In theory, you can put one foot on the North American plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate. I’m not sure if that would be a good idea! but it’s an idea which appeals to me – that differing groups, could meet at a place of tectonic divide. Somehow gives it more meaning, than just meeting in a big building!
Mike has been to Thingveller, on a work trip to Iceland years ago, during which, he and a group of fellow scientists bathed in a hot spa called The Blue Lagoon – sounds a bit dodgy to me!”