Orkney Islands Contemplate Potential Separation from the United Kingdom

news 03-Jul-2023 Europe

: Scottish Orkney Islands Consider Independence from the United Kingdom

Orkney Islands Seek to Join Norway

The Scottish Orkney Islands feel betrayed by the governments in London and Edinburgh. The archipelago's residents in the North Atlantic are now discussing alternative forms of governance, including the possibility of parting ways with Great Britain.

Discussions are underway in the Scottish Orkney Islands about breaking away from the United Kingdom. There are several options on the table, with one of them being to become a self-governing territory of Norway. Community leader James Stockan emphasized the historically close ties with the Scandinavian country, to which the island group of 20,000 inhabitants once belonged, in an interview with BBC Radio Scotland.

British media referred to a possible "Orkxit" in the North Atlantic on late Sunday evening, drawing parallels to the "Brexit" that marked the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. Stockan has called for considering alternative forms of governance, aiming for greater economic self-sufficiency.

According to Stockan, the island group located north of mainland Scotland feels betrayed by the governments in London and Edinburgh. The financial support received is significantly lower compared to the more northern Shetland Islands or the Outer Hebrides in the west of Scotland.

Orkney's historical ties with Norway

Orkney was pawned to Scotland in 1472 as security for the dowry of Danish Queen Margaret's marriage to Scottish King James III. "People in Orkney ask me on the streets when we will return the dowry and when we will once again belong to Norway," said Stockan. There is a strong cultural connection with the Nordic countries.

Possible forms of governance could include a Crown Dependency, such as the Channel Islands, which have their own laws and are directly under the British Crown, or an Overseas Territory like Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands.

The local council will discuss the proposal tomorrow, which does not yet specify a concrete solution. "We will examine the practical implications and then evaluate the results," Stockan said. "We want to find the best position for future generations and our place in the world."

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