Angus MacNeil MP and Alasdair Allan MSP have welcomed the Scottish Government’s intervention following warnings from the cruise industry of the chaos being caused by the UK Border Force’s new procedure
The agency’s new interpretation of the rules is causing significant problems to the industry, with every cruise ship passenger now subject to a face to face interview upon arriving in anywhere in the UK. Previously cruise ship passengers and crews were cleared in advance with manifests checked via agents.
Angus MacNeil MP said:
“The cruise industry is important to tourism in our islands. These new procedures by the UK Border Agency could reduce the length of time tourists have available on-shore and this would be damaging to our local economy.
“It is almost a departmental bureaucrats dream to take things to the point of ridiculous; I hope this is not what the UK Minister envisaged when setting up these new procedures.
“What is required here is common sense and I am pleased that the Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP has intervened in this matter.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“Cruise ships play an increasingly significant role in the western isles’ tourist economy. It makes no sense at all for UK ministers to create a situation where visitors could potentially face interrogation by the immigration authorities just so they can go ashore for a couple of hours to buy a black pudding or visit the Callanish Stones.
“The Scottish government has, rightly, protested to the UK authorities about these completely pointless proposals, and I have now also written to ask for a more reasonable approach.”