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Scottish Independence Debate / Carmichael says Shetland could go it alone

Scottish secretary and northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael

NORTHERN isles MP and Scottish secretary of state Alistair Carmichael, in a surprise last minute intervention, has warned Shetland could split from an independent Scotland if the isles vote no.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper Carmichael said if Scotland votes narrowly for independence, but there is a strong No vote in the isles, it would start “a conversation” on the options open to Shetland.

These options, he said, could include turning Shetland into a self-governing crown dependency like the Isle of Man, or seeking the kind of autonomy Faroe enjoys under Denmark.

He said a strong No vote in Shetland would lead to discussions with first minister Alex Salmond if Scotland votes for independence.

“I wouldn’t like to predict where those discussions will go,” he said, however he believed that the best thing for Scotland and Shetland would be a No vote on Thursday.