SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, today voted against a Scottish Government amendment which was supportive of the introduction of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

The Government amendment was in response to a Conservative party motion calling for HPMA proposals to be reconsidered. Alasdair Allan spoke in Parliament both this afternoon and yesterday on this issue.

“There is no buy-in at all across my constituency for these proposals, as they stand – that is very clear. With much regret, I could not vote today for an amendment which, while going some way to addressing those concerns, would be viewed by many of my constituents as minimising their fears. The devastating impact which HPMAs could have, if designated locally, are causing widespread anxiety in the islands.

“For some context, this is the first time in my 16 years as an MSP that I have voted against the SNP’s collective position on any issue, and I do so with the greatest reluctance. I hope that fact indicates just how strongly I feel about the prospect of HPMAs being implemented locally in their current form.

“I have been very much encouraged by the First Minister and other ministers’ recent assurances that they are listening to communities, and that they will not impose HPMAs where they are locally opposed. It is abundantly clear that these proposals are certainly opposed throughout the Western Isles, and my votes today reflected this.”



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