The Minister’s visit to Lewis and Harris concludes a summer of engagement by Lord Duncan across Scotland, including visits to the Shetland Isles, Aberdeen, Inverness, Elgin, St. Andrews, Glasgow, Perth and Paisley.
The visit also follows Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s recent visit to Skye, as the UK Government ensures it is listening to the priorities of Scottish businesses as we prepare to leave the EU.
Lord Duncan met with representatives from the Na h-Eileanan Siar and MG Alba, as well as visiting the Harris Tweed Shawbost Mill and Isle of Harris Distillers, to see the trading opportunities for two global brands, home and abroad.
Speaking after his visit, Lord Duncan said:
It is good to be back on the islands. I spent many summers on Donald MacInnes’ converted fishing boat touring from Lewis to Barra. Much has changed since then. Back then the Harris Distillery was just a plot of land!
The purpose of the visit – aside from enjoying the traditional islands hospitality – was to listen to the voices from the islands to ensure that it is heard and heeded as the Brexit negotiations unfold.
This trip has been a fantastic opportunity to speak with key sectors and individuals, listening to how we can ensure Brexit offers a bright future for our traditional industries.
Brexit is about strengthening devolution and bringing decision-making powers to Scotland. It is essential that Na h-Eileanan Siar stands ready to seize the opportunity.