Home Business News Orkney still considering constitutional future despite Downing Street saying they will not allow ‘devolution change’

Orkney still considering constitutional future despite Downing Street saying they will not allow ‘devolution change’

by LLB political Reporter
3rd Jul 23 3:31 pm

Orkney’s council leader James Stockan has put forward a motion to change the constitutional future of the Islands to consider other forms of governance as both London and Edinburgh have “failed dreadfully.”

Downing Street has rejected these proposals saying they will not all Orkney to “change the devolution settlement.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters, “First and foremost, there is no mechanism for the conferral of crown dependency or overseas territory status on any part of the UK.

“But fundamentally, we are stronger as one United Kingdom, we have no plans to change that.”

The spokesman added, “We’ve got no plans to change the devolution settlement.”

No 10 Downing Street said that Orkney are being supported with £50 million with the growth deal.

Despite Downing Street’s rejection Stockan’s motion will still be considered by Orkney Islands Council on Tuesday.

It states that “due to historical and contemporary challenges” over funding from both governments, London and Edinburgh, “Orkney Islands Council should now explore options for alternative models of governance that provide greater fiscal security and economic opportunity.”

This includes looking at “Nordic connections, crown dependencies and other options for greater subsidiarity and autonomy to be presented to the community for consideration.”

The Orkney Islands Council said that they are being “failed dreadfully” by both governments and they are receiving less finding per head that what Shetland and the Western Isles get.

Stockan told the BBC on Monday, “We were part of the Norse kingdom for much longer than we were part of the United Kingdom.

“On the street in Orkney, people come up and say to me: ‘When are we going to pay back the dowry? When are we going back to Norway?’

“There is a huge affinity and a huge deep cultural relationship there. This is exactly the moment to explore what is possible.”

The Council are looking into a motion that will consider other forms of governance to potentially provide an economic option for the Orkney Islands and are looking into their historical ties with “Norway.”

The Council has suggested that they could also look into crown dependencies like the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey and “Nordic connections” are also being put forward.

Until 1472 Orkney was under Norwegian and Danish control, however they were given to King James III of Scotland as part of Margaret of Denmark’s wedding dowry.

Scottish Lib Dem MSP for Orkney, Liam McArthur said, “I am due to meet local councillors on Monday and will be interested to learn more about what is envisaged.

“There were similar proposals considered by OIC around the time of the last independence referendum and I am keen to understand how these would differ.

“Locally, I think islanders will also want to be reassured that this exercise won’t result in council resources being taken away from the day-to-day running of services at a time when these are under real pressure.”

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