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Maritime Security

Volume 671: debated on Wednesday 12 February 2020

4. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on maritime security off the coast of Scotland. (900711)

The Scottish Secretary and I regularly meet the Secretary of State for Defence to discuss a range of issues of importance to Scotland, including maritime security.

Not least because of the Minister’s own constituency, he will understand that there is an obvious breach point in the high north of Scotland for adversaries to come into, as has happened before. Can he assure the House that the Scotland Office will be engaging fully with the upcoming integrated defence review, and will he agree to meet me to discuss some of the issues that are important to him and to the rest of Scotland?

I would be delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman, and we can continue that discussion about the great investment by the UK Government into Scotland, and into Moray. Last week we welcomed the first of nine P-8A aircraft, the “Pride of Moray”, which touched down at Kinloss. That is a huge investment by the UK Government and Boeing, and I also put on the record the outstanding work done by local firm Robertson, in building the Poseidon facility.

Will the Minister update the House on his discussions with the Ministry of Defence about the protection of fisheries, not just regarding enforcement, but also monitoring?

That is a devolved issue, and I know that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and other Departments, are in continued dialogue about that with the Scottish Government, and others. My hon. Friend’s longstanding commitment to the fishing industry has again been raised in the House, and he continues to stand up for his constituents in Banff and Buchan on that subject, and on many others.