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There are double standards at the Home Office, says Angus Brendan MacNeill, the Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, following press reports that non-EEA workers are employed in the offshore windfarm industry earning less than the UK minimum wage.

Mr MacNeil is continually pressing the UK Government to help the West Coast fishing industry to allow non-EEA workers to fill the gap in crew shortages. 

Despite him having met with six successive Tory Immigration Ministers, the Home Office refuse to help and boats are tied up because of lack of crew.

Angus MacNeil MP said: “The West Coast fishing industry is crying out for crew and desperate to see the introduction of a scheme to allow non-EEA workers to fill the labour gap – a scheme which pays proper wages. 

“However, this was rejected by the Home Office.

“It is shocking to read press reports that the Home Office has an immigration concession for the windfarm industry allowing non-EEA workers to enter the UK and paid a fraction of the minimum wage.

“The double standards at the Home Office is breath-taking.”

The UK Home Office says that it has again continued a concession to the immigration rules to allow the employment of non-European Economic Area nationals who are joining vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind projects in UK territorial waters.

This concession will be time limited and leave to enter under the terms of the concession will no longer be granted to expire after 21 April 2019.

The concession will allow workers leave to enter the UK until 21 April 2019 for the purpose of joining a vessel engaged in the construction and maintenance of a wind farm within UK territorial waters.

During this period, firms involved in the construction or maintenance of wind farms within territorial waters should look to regularise the position of their workers.