We repeat: ‘At no time have the majority of people living in Orkney or Shetland expressed a wish to be independent from Scotland’

From saoralba07

Ed: Only 7 days after the Herald‘s Martin Williams tried the same ruse, he’s at it again but the comments then from our reader, saoralba07, stand:

Despite misleading headlines in The Herald and Scotsman, at no time have the majority of people living in Orkney or Shetland expressed a wish to be independent from Scotland and no requests have been submitted to the Scottish government for additional powers.  Last month, the Scottish government announced that the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland would benefit from a £50m growth deal.

Orkney and Shetland have been part of Scotland for twice as long as Scotland has been ruled by Westminster and of course they should have as much local autonomy that is possible.

Unionist interest in self-determination for small islands is directly related to power and money.  Westminster wasn’t terribly interested in the right to self-determination of the people of the Chagos Islands who were cleared out their homes when the UK handed over the islands to the USA for a naval base but very interested in The Falklands offshore 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil.

The Continental Shelf Act 1964 and the Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 defines the UK North Sea maritime area to the north of latitude 55 degrees north as being under the jurisdiction of Scots law meaning that 94% of the UK’s oil resources are under Scottish jurisdiction.  In addition, section 126 of the Scotland Act 1998 defines Scottish waters as the internal waters and territorial sea of the United Kingdom as are adjacent to Scotland.

However, if Shetland decided to breakaway, under International law and United Nations convention (UNCLOS) regarding small islands / enclaves they would only be entitled to six miles of territorial waters meaning no oil and not much fish.

What if, for example, Whalsay and Foula declared independence or elected to stick with Scotland?  Unionists should note that the Isle of Man and Channel Islands only have rights up to six miles offshore.

Even under the hypothetical circumstance that this occurred, Westminster wouldn’t be able to retain control of the oil fields anyway.  These matters are regulated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which the UK is a signatory.  International law specifies that a state controls the continental shelf and associated mineral and fishing rights up to 200 nautical miles (230 miles or 370 km) off its shores.  When another state possesses an island within the continental shelf of this state, special rules apply.

This matter was discussed in detail in a legal paper published by the European Journal of International Law:  Prospective Anglo-Scottish Maritime Boundary Revisited

Most of the rights to the continental shelf would remain Scottish, Map 2 on page 29 of the legal paper shows the most likely sea boundaries.  Westminster would be entitled only to a small zone around the islands, and the waters between Orkney and Shetland.  This area contains no oil fields.  If Shetland and Orkney were to remain under Westminster’s control, Shetland would no longer have an oil fund.

By electing to remain part of the UK the northern islanders would face longer trips to mainland hospitals in Newcastle, student tuition fees and numerous other practical disadvantages. In reality, there is more chance of a neglected Cumbria or Northumberland joining an Independent Scotland than Orkney or Shetland leaving.

All this was debated during the 2014 independence campaign as part of Project Fear’s attempts to side track Yes supporters from putting forward a positive vision for Scotland.

Now pro UK Westminster dependency supporters have no positive case left for the Union.

5 thoughts on “We repeat: ‘At no time have the majority of people living in Orkney or Shetland expressed a wish to be independent from Scotland’”

  1. Once we are free from London rule,I would hope that all local administrations would have greater autonomy as is the case in other nordic countries.
    Only a fool now would trust anything agreed with Westminster.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Following Project Fear in 2014 with the many claims by the British nationalists and their media, such as Orkney and Shetland remaining in the UK, those of us who have continued to support independence have become more informed about things like territorial waters, national debt, currency etc and such spurious assertions are treated with a great deal more scepticism.

    The repitition of such claims by the British nationalists is to stop the drift of voters from NO to undecided or to YES and from undecided to YES. So, they must feel (hope?) that it still has some effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Opinion polling for the P & J in 2013 of the Northern Islands, showed 82% wished to stay Scottish.
    8% wanted to be independent.
    That wont have altered to any great extent.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The newspaper article relates to a proposal to introduce new air traffic control technology to Sumburgh Airport which can be operated remotely from a centre in Inverness.

    There is little doubt that any loss of jobs in more remote communities are to be regretted – and especially well paid jobs. However, IMHO the answer is not to insulate these communities from technological progress but rather to seek out and help them exploit any spillover benefits from the introduction of new technology . In addition, there is a basic responsibility for publicly-owned companies introducing such disruptive technology and for government to mitigate the direct, immediate impact on the lives of those most affected, namely those whose jobs will be lost and especially those employees that do not wish to re-locate and those that do not welcome redundancy payment. Some may.

    From a quick look internationally, the concerns expressed regarding safety fears seems like scaremongering (see below).The notion that safety would be allowed to be compromised in this highly regulated industry seems far fetched. Also , the conflation of the proposed operating changes with constitutional matters is blatant opportunism.

    The link below is to an interesting article on the introduction of remotely operated airport traffic control technology internationally. The first example in the UK has been at Cranfield University’s airfield. On a much bigger scale, there are plans to convert to this technology at London City Airport. This technology is likely to become much more common across the UK in coming years. There are a number of examples of its use in smaller, remote rural airports in Scandinavia

    Source: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/scandinavian-mountains-airport-remote-air-traffic-control/index.html

    From this article: “… predicts remote air traffic control is going to become more common, especially if we switch to small aircraft — such as VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) jets — which have the flexibility to land in multiple locations, such as regional airfields.”

    Shetland News on 24 February, 2020 published an article entitled: “Swedish airport operator insists remote tower technology is safe”. It included this:

    “At Östersund airport (Sweden) where the technology is due to be introduced in a number of years, there have been ‘protests against the remotely controlled system for airports” Landin (spokesperson for Saab Digital Traffic Solutions) said. However, the technology opens up new opportunities particularly for small rural areas, he said. “You can have more small airports and they can be opened only by pressing a button. “Now with electric planes coming in, you can have more airports for planes to land. Norway has very many small airports and they are planning to use this technology in at least 16 airports,” he said.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RT between 15:15 and 15:30hrs 18/09/2020 had a bit about “Shexit”

    “Sturgeon under pressure as Shetland explores independence from Scotland”

    George Galloway allowed to talk pish re “latest poll published today shows complete reversal of recent pro Indy majority”

    and

    “Shetland has never belonged to Scotland it was a wedding present from the King of Norway so actually belongs to the Queen”

    Proper Batshit Crazy detachment from reality from GG!

    No mention of his BritNat List Party for Holyrood either.

    Like

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