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  1. MSPs take evidence from Gypsy/Travellers to mark Human Rights Day 2017
  2. Scottish government ministers are quizzed during general questions
  3. Nicola Sturgeon is questioned by opposition party leaders and backbench MSPs during first minister's questions
  4. Tory MSP Alexander Stewart highlights brain tumour awareness in Scotland during his member's debate
  5. The government delivers a ministerial statement entitled 'Improving Scotland's Air Quality - Putting in Place Scotland's Low Emission Zones
  6. MSPs debate Scotland's sea fisheries and end year negotiations

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Andrew Southwick

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood Live

Nicola Sturgeon says attacks on the named person policy by the Conservatives were politically motivated
Nicola Sturgeon says attacks on the named person policy by the Conservatives were politically motivated

That's all from Holyrood Live on 7 December 2017.

Nicola Sturgeon has rebuffed calls for the Scottish government to "ditch" its controversial named person policy.

Holyrood's education committee has put the brakes on legislation aimed at bringing the scheme into force.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the policy was "in tatters" and said ministers should "ditch this broken plan" to find a better approach.

The first minister accused the Tories of "politically undermining" the scheme and said many family groups backed it.

Have a lovely weekend and get your calculators out of the cupboard, because next week is budget week!

money and calculator
Getty images
The budget is on Thursday 14 December

Government motion on fisheries, as amended by the Lib Dems, is agreed to

The Scottish government motion on fisheries, as amended by the Lib Dems, is agreed to with 70 MSPs backing it and 29 against.

Scottish parliament
Scottish parliament

Lib Dems MSP Tavish Scott's amendment is agreed to

Scottish parliament

71 MSPs backed it and 28 voted against.

Conservative MSP Peter Chapman's amendment is not agreed to

Scottish parliament

Conservative MSP Peter Chapman's amendment to the govrnment motion on fisheries is not agreed to.

28 MSPs back it, but 57 vote against it with 14 abstentions.

Minister highlights impact of Brexit on fishing industry

Mr Ewing
Mr Ewing

Mr Ewing says the use of the word political is not helpful in this debate and says the SNP cannot support the Tory amendment.

The rural economy secretary says in respect of the choke species, there must be inter area respectability.

The minister says the problems of Brexit have been mentioned by many MSPs, not least the EU workers in processing.

He says many members also stressed the importance of trade and says the European market is the largest overseas market.

Scotland's clean, green image 'important'

Waves crashing

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing says: "Buyers from all over the world, many made the point that the prominence of Scotland's clean, green image is important for purchase."

Minister says fishing industry makes enormous contribution Scottish society

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing welcomes the support for the government and himself in the forthcoming fisheries negotiations in Brussels.

Mr Ewing says the fishing industry makes an enormous contribution to Scottish society at genuine risk to their own lives.

The minister says we must not forget this.

He says consumption of fish is growing in comparison to meat.

Donald Cameron confident of 'comprehensive' deal for Scotland

Flying fish

Conservative MSP Donald Cameron says he is confident Scotland will still get a comprehensive EU deal.

Mr Cameron asks the cabinet minister if he is in favour of the nine month bridge suggested by Peter Chapman.

Tories will back government motion on fish negotiations

Tory MSP Donald Cameron
Tory MSP Donald Cameron

Tory MSP Donald Cameron says he hopes this is his last fishing debate, then says he jests.

Mr Cameron says he takes great interest in fishing and says he will back the government motion but not the Lib Dems amendment.

He says he will bring clarity to the Tory amendment.

The Tory MSP says his party believes the UK government must be able to use its political clout to prevent fishing vessels being tied to the harbour wall.

Conservative amendment is as mysterious as Brexit stategy - Lewis Macdonald

Lewis Macdonald, Labour MSP

Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald says its is unclear how this year's negotiations will be historic, though it undoubtedly will be, he says.

On the Conservative amendment, he says it "remains almost as much as a mystery of Mrs May's Brexit strategy".

He criticises the lack of a Brexit impact assessment for the sector from the UK government and expresses concern about the possible loss of access to EU workers.

Fishing industry 'worth more than oil and gas' in future

Lib Dems MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dems MSP Tavish Scott says: "The fundamental argument in parliament today about the strength of science is a reasonable one and an important one for future".

Mr Scott says: "The fishing industry will be worth more than the oil and gas industry in the long term."

Sustainability must endure - Mark Ruskell

Green MSP Mark Ruskell

Green MSP Mark Ruskell calls for the "hard won principles around sustainability" to endure after Brexit.

Mr Ruskell calls for the discard ban to be enforced and suggests eliminating discards of six key whitefish species could lead to economic success.

"We should be leading the way on monitoring", he adds, wondering if the government will support remote monitoring tech on all boats over 10m long.

Fishing for Litter

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish raises the "impressive work" of Fishing for Litter.

Scotland are best staying in the single market - Emma Harper

SNP MSP Emma Harper

SNP MSP Emma Harper says: "In the absence of full EU membership, Scotland's best interests would be staying in the single market and customs union."

'Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity'

Liam Kerr

Conservative MSP Liam Kerr says: "Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"It gives the country the potential to be a world leader in seafood production and exports.

"This does not mean isolation. The UK will still need to co-operate with the EU."

Background: Scottish fishing discards rules 'not enforced'

Fishing boat

The ban on discards in the fishing industry is being undermined because it is not being effectively policed, WWF Scotland warned in January.

The number of Scottish boats carrying cameras - which monitor the fish being caught - has halved since the scheme was introduced.

New species were added to the ban at the start of January.

They include North Sea cod and whiting, which can no longer be thrown back into the sea.

Fishermen have traditionally discarded unwanted fish because they carry a lower financial value but, if landed, would count against their quotas.

Read more here

'Fish respect no borders' - Rhoda Grant

Rhoda Grant

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says: "Fish respect no borders".

She says: "The EU is currently the world's largest fishery market.

"If Scotland is to trade effectively with this market, it's vital our industry at least meets EU standards."

What is a choke species?

fishing boat

A term used to describe a low volume quota species which, if reached, would lead to vessels having to tie up even if they still had quota for other species.

Lib Dem MSP says there is a need for fishing industry to be on its guard

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Mr Scott says there is a need for the fishing industry to be on its guard.

The Lib Dem MSP says Michael Gove has basically said that fishing will be part of the negotiations.

He says the SFF must hold the feet of the UK government to the fire.

UK government 'only protecting the DUP' - Tavish Scott

Tavish Scott's amendment
Tavish Scott's amendment

Lib Dems MSP Tavish Scott asks the minister to note two concerns:

  • Ensuring there is enough fishing capacity.
  • Conclude the ferry freight fares review

Mr Scott attacks the UK government, saying: "The UK has not even discussed a deal, and no assessment on the impact on fishing.

"This is a dereliction of duty by the UK government.

"The only people they are protecting are the DUP, because they are keeping them in government."

'One wonders if we will pine for the language of the CFP'

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says: "One wonders if we will pine for the language of the CFP."

Mr Scott says mentions the Hague preference, which of course is a mechanism designed to adjust national fish quota allocations to take account of the needs of certain fisheries-dependent areas in northern parts of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland.

Extra points to those of you who knew that!

'We will control the fish out to 200 miles'

Mr Chapman

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson asks if Mr Chapman is telling us that Scotland can only retrieve the fishing ground up to 200 miles with permission?

Mr Chapman says: "We will control the fish out to 200 miles."

He says zonal attachment is the fairest indicator.

The Tory MSP says: "We will be able to set the rules and regulations that govern our fleet."

'Membership of the CFP has been disastrous'

Peter Chapman's amendment
Scottish parliament
Peter Chapman's amendment

Conservative MSP Peter Chapman says: "There is a real fear that landing obligations will lead to a restriction on fishing.

"The government must be prepared to act beyond the rules of article 50."

Mr Chapman says: "Membership of the CFP has been nothing short of disastrous."

He calls for a nine month bridging arrangement.

He says: "Industry does not want and we do not need a two-year fishing transition."

Tory MSP says fishing industry extremely positive since Brexit vote

Peter Chapman

Scottish Conservative MSP Peter Chapman says the fishing industry has been extremely positive since the Brexit vote.

Mr Chapman says the mood in the industry is buoyant.

However he says the fish processing sector has seen a decrease in capacity, with jobs being lost to Humberside.

The Tory MSP says large increases in business rates have made the sector non-competitive.

Background: 'Stocks collapse'

Marine ecologist Dr Natalia Serpetti looked at how rising temperatures would affect 41 groups of species, from top predators such as whales and seals to many fish species and animals such as crabs and snails living on the sea floor.

The research is part of the Marine Ecosystem Research Programme, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Scottish government said it recognised that climate change was "a major threat" to Scotland's marine ecosystems and was following scientific advice to support a sustainable fishing industry.

Read more here

Getty Images

Scottish government opposed to giving away more stocks

Fergus Ewing

Fergus Ewing says: "EU negotiators have continued to trade away quotas.

"We are totally opposed to giving away stocks to Norway that we are short of ourselves."

He says his officials will continue to pursue reducing the Faroe Islands fishing quotes in Scottish waters.

Background: Scottish Fishermen's Federation 'encouraged' by Brexit talks

Fiishing boat
Press Eye

Scottish fishing leaders have said they are "encouraged" by talks with the UK and Scottish governments about Brexit.

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) met the UK environment secretary and fishing minister in London.

Talks with the Scottish government's Brexit minister Michael Russell were also held at Holyrood.

The SFF campaigned for a Leave vote in June's referendum, and argue Brexit could present an opportunity.

The organisation said control over British waters would bring huge potential benefits to Scottish fishing.

Minister says he will make strong representations in Brussels

Fergus Ewing

Mr Ewing says 2018 will see the last year of phased implementation of the landing obligation for whitefish stocks.

The minister says he will make his points forceably at the Brussels negotiations, which he says will be pivotal in helping Scotland's fishing fleet to reduce the potential impacts of choke species.

He says this year's talks are already underway.

The minister says he hopes to secure agreement today on a full five part strategy.

Background: Cod and haddock 'may vanish' from Scotland's west coast

Herring are among the cold water species predicted to vanish from Scotland's west coast
Sams UHI
Herring are among the cold water species predicted to vanish from Scotland's west coast

Cod, herring and haddock could migrate away from Scotland's west coast waters because of warming sea temperatures, according to researchers in October.

Scientists at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (Sams) predict the cold water species will vanish from the west coast by the year 2100.

The researchers suggest the fish are already nearing "edge of their temperature tolerance range".

However, they add that global warming will see other species replace them.

The Scottish government said it was following scientific advice on how to support Scotland's fishing industry.

Read more here

'Dark Brexit clouds on the horizon'

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing says: "We must focus on the current needs and build on that success."

He says there are: "Dark Brexit clouds on the horizon."

With that, he welcomes the Liberal Democrats amendment acknowledging the uncertainty.

Talking about the number of stocks off the west coast, he says: "We need to press forward with effective measure to tackle discards."

Background: Scottish fishing leaders welcome quota plans

Rules around fishing, including quotas, are decided in Brussels

In November the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) welcomed European Commission catching proposals for the coming year.

The figures are based on annual scientific data.

They cover what officials in Brussels believe are sustainable quota levels for each species in waters covered by the European Common Fisheries Policy.

The SFF said it was awaiting further details on some of the stocks. The figures will form the basis of the EU's annual quota talks in December.

Read more here.

MSPs will now debate sea fisheries and end year negotiations

Scottish Parliament

MSPs will now debate sea fisheries and end year negotiations.

Here is the government motion.


Infrastructure to be improved

Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur queries how the government will improve maintenance and reliability of the electric vehicle charging network.

The minister agrees infrastructure is important in order to meet the 2032 target.

He adds that behavioural change and reducing the upfront cost of electric vehicles was equally important.

He welcomes the interest-free loans for such vehicles available from the Energy Savings Trust.

Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur
Lib Dems MSP Liam McArthur

Background: Edinburgh's bid for low emission zone

Car with smoke
Science Photo Library

In May Edinburgh bid to have Scotland's first Low Emission Zone to tackle air pollution.

Councillors agreed to approach the Scottish government, which has said it will fund one pilot by 2018.

Lorries, vans and buses which did not meet emission standards could be fined for driving within the designated area.

Glasgow had already declared an interest in the idea, and in October was announced as the first.

Read more here