Scottish Independence Debate / Hill calls isles campaign unnecessary

Stuart Hill.

THE Our Islands, Our Future campaign for greater decision-making powers to be devolved to the islands has come under fire from Shetland’s self-styled independence fighter Stuart Hill.

On Tuesday as the three Scottish island councils met for a second time with a ministerial working group set up by the Scottish government, Hill described Shetland as the UK’s last colony and would free itself in time.

According to the indefatigable campaigner, there is no point in asking for more powers to be handed across because they “already belong to Shetland and Orkney”.

Hill insisted: “Nobody has been able to give a date at which Shetland and Orkney became part of Scotland for very good reason – it never happened.”

He is about to publish a book called ‘Stolen Isles, Shetland’s True Status’, a detailed account of his 10 year struggle to prove that Shetland has never been part of Scotland and the UK.


He claimed that the judiciary when challenged had always failed to produce “evidence (…) that Shetland is part of Scotland.”

Meanwhile a statement from the island leaders said their discussions with the Scottish government were progressing well.

Tuesday’s meeting focused on issues including island proofing, energy, and marine planning.
Orkney Islands Council’s leader Steven Heddle said: “Island proofing seeks that consideration of the islands position takes place at all stages of policy formulation to ensure that we are not disadvantaged.

“We’d like to see this treated seriously as an equality issue, and also believe that if we have more powers devolved to the islands and better representation in Europe then island proofing will happen as a matter of course.”
Chaired by local government minister Derek Mackay, Tuesday’s session was also attended by energy minister Fergus Ewing and environment minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Mackay said: “The Lerwick Declaration made clear that this government is committed to the principle of local decision-making and subsidiarity.

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“We take seriously the asks of Scotland’s islands councils and have engaged with them in a formal process to examine the evidence and consider fully the future position of the islands in Scotland.

“We will not shy away from discussing big issues like oil and gas and renewables, which are rightly important to the islands, and we want to bring forward a package of proposals in the context of the referendum that would benefit island communities.”

Shetland Islands Council leader Garry Robinson was not available for comment.

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