NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021
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Letters / Can’t dissolve current setup overnight

It is not yet clear what path the [Wir Shetland] campaign will take or which powers Shetland will receive [‘I need a bit more detail’, SN 25/10/15].

The preferred aim is to engage with existing politicians/parties and the UK Government in order to agree British Overseas Territory status or similar. I cannot presume to know what policies a newly elected Shetland government would employ as the outcome of the campaign is not yet clear.

The SIC would be a starting point as you cannot just dissolve the current set up overnight. They would be needed to provide continuity as powers are steadily transferred from central government and the SIC to the new administration. New powers would be transferred in an orderly manner over, say, 3-5 years.

Transfer of powers and functions would not be instantaneous and the current administration would shrink steadily until the newly formed government takes over. I believe a new government should be formed by the people of Shetland, learning from experience gained here and in similar autonomous islands, imitating the good and avoiding the mistakes.

What will happen to taxation, benefits, the NHS etc would be up to this new government and would have to be part of any prospective parties’ and candidates’ manifesto before the elections. The whole point is that for the first time Shetland would have control over all these areas and could alter them to suit Shetlands needs.

Many in the Wir Shetland group (myself included) have ideas about specific policy areas but it would be wrong for us to publish them at this point for the aforementioned reasons.

Apologies if my response has provided more questions than answers. Hopefully you will keep an open mind about the campaign until such time as your questions can be answered fully.

Duncan Simpson

Wir Shetland membership secretary

1 Norrendal, Whalsay

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