Highlands and Islands Enterprise Brexit Report

Earlier today Jamie asked the Prime Minister for a meeting as Highlands and Islands Enterprise report that 70% of businesses in the Highlands see Brexit as a direct risk to their future. A ministerial meeting with representatives from businesses and HIE would ensure the voices of those working in the Far North are heard.

Undoubtedly the best option for Scotland’s rural economy is to remain in the single market, as part of the EU, something which the Lib Dems have been campaigning for since the referendum and something that Jamie will be making clear to ministers.

Counter Daesh Update

Earlier this week Jamie asked Jeremy Hunt what he is doing to ensure Russia does not stand in the way of a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Syria.

We must find a global solution to counter Daesh and to ensure a Syrian-led political transition.

Ring Fenced Broadband Funding

This week Jamie asked the Cabinet Office what they are doing to aid the roll out of broadband to rural areas of the country like the Highlands. While the Scottish Government is responsible for the delivery of broadband in the Far North, they are currently failing his constituents.

When Jamie meets with the Minister he will stress the importance of ring-fenced money for broadband in the Highlands so that constituents are not treated as second class citizens when it comes to quality online access. Being disadvantaged simply because of where you live is plain wrong.

Rehabilitation of Prisoners

Rehabilitation is a vital component of our prison system. Jamie asked the Minister what his department is doing to encourage businesses to offer work placements as a part of rehabilitation programs.

Wick Tax Office

Last week the Government announced that they would be condensing 170 HMRC offices to 13 regional hubs. The two Scottish ones will be in Edinburgh and Glasgow. This will be a huge distance for people living and working in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. With important ports such as Scrabster and Wick in the Far North it would surely make more sense to simply reopen the Wick tax office.

Local Government Funding

Last week Jamie asked the Minister whether the settlement from the treasury to the Scottish Government accurately reflects the needs of Scottish local government. The Highland Council faces sparse populations, huge distances and high costs of services and goods making it very difficult to run the council cheaply.

EU Funding in the Highlands

Yesterday Jamie asked the Prime Minister what would happen to EU funding in the Highlands if we left the EU. £400 per person per year of EU funding which would be lost and the PM couldn't give a solid answer on what would replace this.

In these uncertain times it is his job to make the argument that in the past this funding was crucial and that in the future it must be continued pound for pound. As far as Jamie is concerned the Prime Minister’s so-called deal would leave us worse off. Perhaps this is why she so obviously failed to answer the question.

However it's great that the Speaker appreciates just how beautiful our constituency is, and Jamie would welcome him to come and visit soon!

Banks and Post Offices

Rather than closing Post Offices we should be encouraging one-stop banking to move into their facilities. This way customers would benefit from more services rather than less.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have been proposing community banking hubs where banks could pool resources together thereby ensuring services can remain open and Post Offices would be the ideal place for this to happen.

A Stone in Westminster

It's been a big week in Parliament this week, although next week is likely to be even bigger! Brexit has once again dominated but its not the only thing that's been going on. Watch Jamie's round up here.

Post Office Closures

Post Office closures are really damaging to local communities, especially in rural areas. If Post Office facilities are being moved to other retail sites such as newsagents we must make sure the new location can offer all necessary services.

Jamie again raised this issue in the House of Commons and will to continue to work to ensure the voices of his constituents are not ignored.

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