…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Proposals for Orkney Islands to Explore “Nordic Connections” and Loosen Ties with the UK
Councillors in Orkney Islands are set to debate proposals that suggest the region should consider loosening its ties with the United Kingdom and explore its “Nordic connections.”
Council leader James Stockan has put forward a motion, arguing that alternative forms of governance could offer more economic opportunities for Orkney.
The motion suggests looking at models similar to crown dependencies such as Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.
The motion will be discussed at a meeting of the Orkney Islands Council.
UK Government Rejects the Proposals
However, the UK government has rejected these proposals, stating that there is no mechanism for conferring crown dependency or overseas territory status on any part of the UK.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman emphasized the strength of the United Kingdom and stated that there are no plans to change the devolution settlement.
Council Leader’s Criticism and Motion Details
Council leader James Stockan expressed his belief that Orkney is being let down by both the governments in Edinburgh and London.
The motion highlights the challenges Orkney faces in terms of funding and proposes exploring alternative models of governance that can provide greater fiscal security and economic opportunities.
It specifically mentions considering Nordic connections, crown dependencies, and other options for increased subsidiarity and autonomy.
However, the motion does not commit the council to any specific option, and any constitutional changes would require a combination of petitions, referenda, and legislation at the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.
Historical Context of Orkney’s Governance
Orkney was historically under Norwegian and Danish control until 1472 when the islands were given to Scotland as part of the wedding dowry of Margaret of Denmark to King James III of Scotland.
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