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Scottish Fishing Industry: Visas for Crew

Volume 631: debated on Monday 20 November 2017

9. If she will meet representatives from the Scottish fishing industry to discuss visas for crew members from outside the EEA. (901913)

I have already had meetings with some of my hon. Friends from Scotland, and I am meeting a number of Scottish MPs to discuss the issue this very week. I was due to meet representatives of the industry during my recent visit to Edinburgh, but they were sadly unable to attend on the day.

I will take that as my invitation to the meeting. I suspect that the Minister has already heard about the problem, which is that the few visas available are transit visas, meaning that boats are pushing for the visas allowed—not where the fish are to be found. This leaves many crew members vulnerable and exposed to exploitation. Will the Minister speak to Border Force about its insistence that crew members should be classified as unskilled labour?

It is a cross-party meeting, and I am happy to ensure that the right hon. Gentleman has the details about that meeting later this week. We are obviously looking at all these issues, particularly in the light of leaving the European Union and our future immigration policy, so I look forward to hearing the views of Scottish MPs.