Jamie McGrigor MSP

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Jamie McGrigor MSP

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  • Member for: Highlands and Islands
  • Party: Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Jamie is a member of the following Committees:

Jamie is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Jamie McGrigor

European and External Relations Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

We have talked about benefits to businesses, but I would like to address the possible benefits to consumers in Scotland as a result of a good TTIP agreement. Could our witnesses say something about that?



European and External Relations Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

Independent studies have suggested that EU exports to the US would increase by 28 per cent each year as a result of a good TTIP agreement. They also predict that the UK economy would be given a boost of £10 billion each year—I think that the figure for Scotland was something like £1.7 billion. Given that EU exports would increase by 28 per cent, why would the UK benefit by only £10 billion? Surely, the figure would be an increasing one, would it not?



European and External Relations Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

I am sorry that I was not here at the start, convener.

On John Crawford’s point, the Scottish North American Business Council explained that it had organised two road shows in Scotland, the key lesson from which was about the potential benefits for SMEs. The message concerned the fact that, the smaller a company is, the more the huge obstacles in doing business with the US will get in its way.

The committee has received evidence from stakeholders that there is a lack of awareness across the Scottish business community about the TTIP negotiations. Last week, I went to a breakfast briefing from one of our largest banks. When I asked about TTIP, I found that the people giving the briefing had not heard of it, which I thought was rather astonishing. In that context, I have a question for John Crawford. What is going on to make Scottish businesses more aware of TTIP? You said that you need another 5,000 SMEs to get involved in what is going on. We are possibly nearly halfway through the negotiations. Is enough being done to make people here aware of the opportunities for businesses from the agreement?



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

The commission’s recommendation 15 says:

“Businesses across Scotland should be encouraged and supported to enter into 3-5 year partnerships with secondary schools. Every secondary school in Scotland and its feeder primaries should be supported by at least one business in a long-term partnership.”

Does the minister agree that a partnership approach is very important to increase school pupils’ understanding of local businesses in their area? What specific support is the Government providing to ensure that that recommendation is implemented across Scotland?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

The cabinet secretary has made a lot of Scotland becoming a food and drink nation. Does he agree that advertising our quality products from the areas that he is talking about is one of the best ways of doing that?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

I, too, congratulate Rhoda Grant on securing the debate. Like Rhoda Grant, I welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to the good work of local coastal partnerships in my Highlands and Islands region—including the Moray Firth Partnership and Coast Hebrides, which is the Outer Hebrides coastal marine partnership—and many others across Scotland.

There are many positive examples of the different work that is being undertaken by local coastal partnerships. The Moray Firth Partnership runs the dolphin space programme, which is an accreditation scheme for wildlife tour boat operators. It is an innovative, co-operative approach to sustainable wildlife tourism. The partnership’s “seafood—see here!” project aims to make local seafood more easily available, and to increase the amount and quality of seafood that is offered in local restaurants and shops.

On that point, I simply must mention the town of Oban in Argyll and Bute, which has some of the best shellfish outlets in Europe, which are unmatched for quality of produce. Their service is excellent, as well. I will never apologise for advertising Scotland’s shellfish. Our lobsters, crabs, scallops and prawns are the best in the world.

Coast Hebrides’s coastal care programme aims to restore and protect dunes and soft coasts by undertaking a range of initiatives in beach and dune management, restoration and flood protection. Marram grass has been transplanted to stabilise blowouts on dunes. The work is vital, because coastal erosion is a threat to communities in the Western Isles, for example.

The motion refers to the need to “bring stakeholders together” and to

“brokering agreements between different sectoral interests”,

which is important. In preparing for the debate I consulted representatives of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association and was most encouraged to learn that the association feels that its participation in the Firth of Clyde Forum over many years has been worth while. The group has collaborated and co-operated to seek constructive solutions in relation to the concepts that it supports.

The Clyde Fishermen’s Association suggested that the forum, unlike some initiatives, understands intuitively that there needs to be recognition of existing socio-economic patterns, which should not be disrupted unless to make an improvement. As we look to improve the biodiversity and health of our coastal environment, we need to take with us the fishermen and other people who make their livings from our seas and coastline. In many cases, they are the people who have the practical understanding, expertise and knowledge about our coastal waters that can help to inform plans to ensure the sustainability that we all want. I have made that point repeatedly in the chamber—not least in the debate in March this year on bringing the Clyde up to good environmental status by 2020.

I see that I am running out of time. The Scottish Conservatives recognise the importance of our coastlines to our economy and to our biodiversity. We are aware of the positive achievements of Scotland’s local coastal partnerships and we hope that the best practice, experience and expertise that have been built up over the past 20 years or more can be maintained and developed as the new regional marine planning partnerships are introduced.

17:57  

Meeting of the Parliament 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

I conclude by wishing the cabinet secretary the best of luck.

I move amendment S4M-11825.2, to leave out from second “and supports” to end and insert:

“; considers that Scotland benefits from the UK’s negotiating strength in Europe, and urges Scottish and UK ministers to work together to achieve the best possible deal for Scotland’s fishermen.”

16:18  

Meeting of the Parliament 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

I will finish, then.

Bertie Armstrong said that the industry was very much less concerned about who sits in the seats and was more concerned, in every detail, about what is said and what is in the speaking notes of the minister or his representative. The cabinet secretary knows that the UK Government has consistently and successfully worked with him and his officials—



Meeting of the Parliament 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

I am pleased to take part in this important debate on the annual EU fisheries negotiations, which commence on 15 December. The outcome of the negotiations is vital to Scotland’s fishermen—the people who risk their lives to put fish on our tables—its processors and the fishing communities along our coastlines.

We agree with the Scottish Government that our Scottish vessels need to retain the number of days that they can go to sea and that cuts are simply not acceptable. We are encouraged that last week’s EU-Norway talks resulted in an increase in quota allocations for a number of key stocks for Scottish fishermen, including cod, haddock and plaice. I am also encouraged by what the cabinet secretary told us about hopes for an increase in west coast haddock.

Those increases are in line with scientific advice. The stocks are in good health in large part due to the sacrifices that our Scottish fleet has made over the long and difficult period of the cod recovery plan and to the innovative and important conservation measures that our vessels adopted, which have been significant and have surpassed by far any other EU fleet’s efforts.

The vessel numbers in our demersal fleet have declined by around 60 per cent compared with the numbers during the first session of the Parliament. The EU needs to recognise that fact in next week’s talks. If further effort reduction is proposed, the cabinet secretary must ensure that the burden falls on other EU states and not Scotland’s fishermen, who have already done much. Our Scottish fleet must now be able to enjoy some of the benefits after the pain of the last decade and a half or more.

Fishermen and their representatives have asked me to highlight a number of the key issues facing their sectors, and I am most happy to do so.

One of the key, most pressing and immediate issues facing our pelagic fishermen is the implementation of the discard ban—or landing obligation—in their sector from the start of 2015. Scottish pelagic fishermen rightly want to ensure that a level playing field for the control, monitoring and enforcement of the ban is truly achieved across all the pelagic boats that fish in EU waters, whether the vessels are from third countries or other member states. I know that the cabinet secretary agrees with that. That level playing field is vital.

There is clearly also a huge amount of work to be done next year to prepare for the introduction of the landing obligation for the demersal sector in 2016, which will bring even greater challenges than the introduction in the pelagic sector. There are real concerns in the white-fish sector about the practical implications of the discard ban. Working out a usable scheme that does not penalise our white-fish boats must be a big priority for next year.

Bertie Armstrong, of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, has described the process leading to the landing obligation laws as

“a shining beacon of dysfunction”

that has the potential to do

“significant damage to the fishing industry and communities of Scotland.”

I agree with the sensible suggestion in Tavish Scott’s amendment that a phased approach must be considered.

The Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association and the Shetland Fishermen’s Association are all clear that another priority for their industry is the need to achieve a fairer deal in terms of the EU-Faroes mackerel fishery quota access agreement, which currently is totally skewed in favour of the Faroes.

Between 2007 and 2013, the Faroes never exceeded a mackerel catch of 8,771 tonnes in EU—that is, Scottish—waters off Shetland. However, in 2014, that catch was a massive 46,850 tonnes. The level of the mackerel access quota must be addressed. Why do the Faroes require a third of their quota to be fished off the Scottish coastline when the mackerel stock has become so much more abundant in their own waters? The current situation means that the Faroes are benefiting hugely from catching mackerel in prime condition in our waters while not one kilo of the EU’s mackerel quota has been caught in the Faroese zone.

The nephrops fishery remains an important and economically valuable one on the west coast of my region, and its associated jobs help to underpin often fragile local communities. I share the real concern of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association about the proposal for a significant cut in catch in the Firth of Clyde functional unit, although I note with some relief that there is a projected rise in the South Minch area. Nephrops fishermen in the Clyde area want to know what measures Marine Scotland will take to reverse the trend, and the Clyde Fishermen’s Association is urging it to look again at its proposals that the minimum nephrops tail size be raised from 35mm to 46mm, and the overall length from 70mm to 85mm.

I also want to mention the possible consultation on scallop fishing that has been pushed for by the Clyde Fishermen’s Association since 1995.

On my amendment to today’s motion, I would just refer to previous comments that have been made by Bertie Armstrong. I do not wish to be called arrogant—



Meeting of the Parliament 03 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Jamie McGrigor

Does the minister agree with the finding of the foreign language learning inquiry that the Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee conducted last year—that foreign language assistants can play a very important and cost-effective role in helping our school pupils to learn modern foreign languages? Does he share my concern about the fact that the number of foreign language assistants in Scotland’s schools in 2013-14 was down by almost three quarters from 2005-06? What action will the Scottish Government take to reverse that situation and to ensure that as many pupils as possible can benefit from working with foreign language assistants?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
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NoCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
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NoCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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YesDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
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YesDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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YesDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
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AbstainCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
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NoCarried

S4M-11763 Mary Fee: Private Sector Rent Reform—That the Parliament notes that, over the last 10 year
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NoCarried

S4M-11766.3 Shona Robison: The State of the NHS—As an amendment to motion S4M-11766 in the name of N
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AbstainCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Jamie McGrigor
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11891: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11825.2: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11489: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11390: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11373: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11361: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11029.1: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10347.1: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 16/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10287: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09916.1: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jamie McGrigor
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03799: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03761: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22940: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03624: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03525: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22518: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22517: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00777: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03493: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22331: Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

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