Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has today tabled another question in the House of Commons regarding the future of the emergency towing vessels.
Mr MacNeil said:
“Once again I have asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to secure the future of the tugs based in the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland.
“The responsibility of these tugs lies firmly with the UK Government and when all is said and done, the UK Government must find a solution and guarantee the long-term future of the tugs.
“Six months ago the UK Government announced they were to withdraw the tugs however, at the last minute they received a reprieve. We cannot continue to operate this service on the hope of last minute reprieves we need definite answers now.
“With the current extension due to end on 31 March, we need assurances that the UK Government will guarantee the future of the tugs.
“Coastal protection is too important an issue to be treated in such a way.
“I hope that the Secretary of State, Michael Moore MP, will listen to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as well as Orkney, Shetland and Highland Councils at the meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday 1 March) and bring an end to this uncertainty.”
Question tabled by Angus B MacNeil MP
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in regards to my question  of 19 December 2011 and your written statement of 20 December 2011, what assurances can you provide towards the retention of Emergency Towing Vessels in waters around the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland post 31 March 2012?