Non UK-residents welcome, says council convener
The council’s convener has stressed Shetland will remain a welcoming place for people and businesses from outside the UK.
Malcolm Bell has spoken after SIC leaders met to discuss key issues including the future for island communities in the wake of the referendum result.
Mr Bell commented after political leader Gary Robinson and chief executive, Mark Boden, met the Undersecretary of State for Scotland, Lord Dunlop, as well as a team of civil servants.
“First of all, it’s extremely important that we emphasise that Shetland is – and will remain – a welcoming place for non-UK businesses and individuals to visit and do business in.
“Clearly, the international political landscape is in flux and there is a period of uncertainty ahead, but I would like to reassure EU citizens living and working here that Shetland continues to value their presence and their many contributions to the community.”
Political leader Gary Robinson added: “It is, of course, far too early to say what will happen in the months and years to come, and that depends on how the UK government develops its policy for negotiation with the EU.
“This morning, the leaders of the two other islands’ councils and I had a very productive meeting with Lord Dunlop, where we discussed how the process of the UK leaving the EU might develop.
“The minister and his civil servants were very supportive of involving the island councils and communities in the development of the government’s position, especially on areas of business which particularly affect the islands.”
Mr Boden has already arranged to meet Scotland Office civil servants to brief them on issues relating to fishing and aquaculture.
The Scotland Office will then put these points forward to the other government departments as they develop the government’s position.
The council says it will also be working with key Shetland stakeholders, such as the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, to advance the case for what is in Shetland’s best interests directly to relevant ministers.