NEW PAPER SHOWS SCOTLAND LOSING OUT WHILE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURS POWER AHEAD
The ALBA Party MPs Neale Hanvey MP and Kenny MacAskill MP will meet with the Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart MP today (Tuesday) at 3.00 pm to renew their push for Scotland to have direct ferry links to mainland Europe.
In a statement ALBA Westminster Leader Neale Hanvey MP said:
“Other European countries are exploiting the opportunities to boost business, trade and tourism through an expansion in direct ferry services to Europe. As well as Ireland, France and now Poland are powering ahead in developing direct passenger and freight services to mainland Europe while Scotland languishes in the slow lane.
“The Scottish Government already supports commercially run ferry services to the northern isles and internal ferry services across the Scottish islands. Why not direct ferry links to Europe?
“We will be using this meeting to push the UK Government to establish a new fund to replace the European Union Motorway of the Seas funding post Brexit. It is vital that state support is available to establish passenger and freight services to Europe such as the previous Rosyth to Zeebrugge service.”
Continuing ALBA Party Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill said:
“The paper we are publishing today provides the clearest possible evidence of what is possible when the ambition and political will exists to make it happen.
“That is why we need to see funding in place which Scotland can bid into now that the Motorway of the Seas funding is no longer available. It is vital that the UK Government commit to a new fund to replace the funding stream which was previously available.
“Free market dogma and an insistence that any services must be commercially viable without any subsidy or support does not apply to internal ferry services in Scotland, nor does it to services to the northern isles. It must not be allowed to act as a barrier to developing direct ferry links.
“We need Scotland to Europe ferry links which will have a direct economic benefit in jobs provided and knock on benefits for businesses, trade and tourism.
“Scotland needs to by-pass congested ferry routes in the south and establish its own direct ferry links which would reduce our carbon footprint and have environmental as well as economic benefits.
“Scotland is losing out through a lack of support and investment and it is time for the UK and Scottish Governments to act”.