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Letters / What’s to be done

The omni shambles at Westminster and Holyrood continues but it is not of Shetland’s making – a clear out is needed, but it’s doubtful if that would be of any local benefit.

Consequently, as Shetland deserves better it should look after itself as little help can be expected from elsewhere.

Shetland’s prospects are promising provided it is in charge of its own destiny, but the continual struggle with Holyrood over funding – ferries, tunnels, freight, passenger capacities, planning, connectivity, and the necessity to deliver many other services are examples of restrictions holding back development.

Take back control, which should also include fishing areas and offshore wind farm licences.

A limited amount of control is available via the ZCC Act 1974 granted by the UK Parliament, but should Scotland sever from the UK, a Holyrood Act could strip away all those rights, leaving Shetlanders impotent in their own islands, beholden to the whims of a modern version of avaricious lairds (of whatever hue or persuasion) sitting in Holyrood, all powerful over Shetland’s assets,
and having different priorities and agendas.

What’s to be done?

Should it so decide, Shetland has an historic and legal right to revert to Crown Dependency status, stretching back 1,200 years, confirmed by Charles 2nd as a Crown Stewartry, outwith the Scots Parliament’s (and therefore UK Parliament’s) remit which has never been rescinded.

The Channel islands, Gibraltar, Falkland, Isle of Man are successful examples of Crown Dependencies/Overseas Territories having separate budgets and money, in the Sterling area and the Bank of England. Shetland’s close neighbour Faroe is another example, via Denmark.

Shetland – as a UK Crown Dependency could operate its entire economy via a modern innovative CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) account held at the Bank of England with finances completely separate and free from interference from the present Holyrood straitjacket and incompetence.

This could in part be funded by revenues from the Sullom Voe burgeoning energy hub – energy – wind – hydrogen – derivatives – ammonia – oil – gas – added to the dispensations from HM Treasury (perhaps as an entire freeport area setting its own tax rates?

Severance would also benefit Holyrood as Scotland would then be free to concentrate its efforts elsewhere.

In 2020 the SIC voted to question the present political and economic arrangements – Crown Dependency would seem to meet those concerns and requirements – Shetland’s democracy in action!

Councillors have the political power and it is beholden on them to make progress (as the democratically elected representatives of the people), instead of leaving it to local pressure groups.

Faroe has done it, so can Shetland. Get on with it.

Cecil Robertson
Inverness

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