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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17269: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 15 June 2018

To ask the Scottish Government for what reasons the letter of 23 February 2018 from the European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, in response to its letter of 24 January 2018 was not shared with the RMT union until the ministerial statement of 24 May 2018.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 3 July 2018

On 20 December 2017, the Minister for Transport and the Islands made a statement to Parliament that a decision on the procurement of the Northern Isles Ferry Services would be taken in the Spring of 2018. It is appropriate that Parliament was informed first about the Minister’s decision and the reasons for that decision, including the letter from the European Commission, as set out in the Minister's subsequent statement of 24 May 2018.

The Scottish Government will continue to seek the views of the RMT union and other key stakeholders as we undertake further engagement with the European Commission on the possibility of making a Teckal compliant direct award to an in-house operator in future that would satisfy the State aid rules and the four Altmark criteria.