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Scotland. Orkney wants to explore “alternative forms of governance” – including even transition to Norway

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The Scottish archipelago of Orkney will debate a proposal to “examine alternative forms of management” on Tuesday. According to the BBC, this could include a change of status within the UK, or even a transition to Norwegian sovereignty. “We’ve been part of the Nordic kingdom much longer than we’ve been part of Britain,” a local politician points out.

Local council leader James Stockan spoke about the reasons for the archipelago status debate scheduled for Tuesday on BBC Radio Scotland. He said Orkney currently does not receive fair funding and there are many areas where both the British and Scottish governments are failing the residents. Stockan would like the council to “examine alternative forms of governance” and look at the status of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are British crown dependencies, and the Falkland Islands, a UK overseas territory, as potential governance models. He also suggested that another model could be the Faroe Islands, which are a self-governing territory Denmark.

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Orkneys and their “Nordic connections”

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Stockan is calling on councilors to support his idea of ​​finding new ways to give Orkney more financial security and economic opportunities. “We know that we have been contributing (to the UK) for the last 40 years with North Sea oil and dividendthe money we get back is not enough to sustain us,” he said.

The politician also suggests that the council should explore how Orkney could provide a “Nordic connection” with Denmark, Norway or Iceland. Orkney before they became part of it in 1472 Scotland, were under Norwegian and Danish control. The islands were used as security for the wedding dowry of Margaret of Denmark, future wife of King James III of Scotland. As noted by the BBC, the Orkney council in 2017 supported the proposal for greater autonomy for the islands, but did not support full independence.

Orkney is inhabited by about 22.5 thousand people. people.Shutterstock

– We’ve been part of the Nordic kingdom much longer than we’ve been part of Great Britain. In Orkney, people on the street come up and ask me when we will return the dowry when we return to Norway. (…) This is the moment to explore what is possible,’ Stockan told BBC Radio Scotland.

Orkney – closer to the Arctic Circle than London

The Orkney archipelago consists of 70 islands, of which only 20 are inhabited by a population of less than 22,500. people, according to data on the Scottish Government website. The archipelago – which is closer to the Arctic Circle than to London – boasts the oldest public library in Scotland (founded in 1683 in Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney) and is home to “15% of the world’s seal population,” reads Scotland’s website.

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BBC, PAP, nrscotland.gov.uk, scotland.org

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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