Orkney debates joining Norway as a territory


Council members will discuss proposals for the Orkney Islands to change its status in the UK or even turn into a self-governing territory of Norway.

The local authority will consider a motion on Tuesday to look into "alternative forms of governance.".

Orkney doesn't receive equitable funding, according to council leader James Stockan, given its current relationship with the UK.

However, a suggestion that the islands might sever its ties with the union was rejected by the prime minister's spokesperson.

In order to increase Orcadians' economic opportunities and financial security, Mr. Stockton has urged council members to support his idea.

He said, "The mark of a good government is how it actually supports the periphery and the most disadvantaged," on Monday's Today program on BBC Radio 4.

"Our communities on the smallest of our islands are the most challenging to serve, and the treatment of them by governments is absolutely crucial to how well governments are doing.

"We do envy the communities in Norway because they approach the remote and rural in a very different way. ".

Andrew Stockan
Orkney, according to council leader James Stockan, does not receive equitable funding within the UK.

The Orkney Islands Council previously decided to investigate the possibility of giving the islands more autonomy in 2017.

Even though they desired a "stronger voice," they did not support Orkney's complete independence.

Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man are mentioned in Mr. Stockan's motion as additional potential role models.

An outdated ferry fleet is one of the problems that islanders must deal with, according to the council leader.

The fact that the ferries, which are older than the Western Isles fleet, were starting to malfunction, he added, made the situation "critical.".

However, despite Mr. Stockan's worries, Downing Street rejected the notion of Orkney seceding from the UK.

The official spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated: "First and foremost, there is no mechanism for any area of the UK to be granted Crown Dependency or Overseas Territory status.   .

"We don't have any plans to change the devolution agreement, and as part of the islands deal, we're giving Orkney a £50 million boost to its economy.

"However, the Government believes that the UK is stronger when it is united. ".

Before it was incorporated into Scotland in 1472, Orkney was held under the rule of the Norwegian and Danish nations.

The islands served as collateral for Margaret of Denmark, who would later marry King James III of Scotland, and her wedding dowry.

According to the Scottish government, Orkney Islands Council will receive £89.7 million in 2023–2024 to pay for services, plus an additional £4.6 million from a 10% increase in council tax.

It was also "committed to supporting island communities," a spokesperson said.

The Norwegian government chose not to respond to inquiries about the ideas.

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