‘And so it begins’ – opinion split on whether second independence referendum is welcome

Local SNP convener Robbie McGregor says he is “very happy” that a second independence referendum is on the cards.

But opinion is divided over moves by the Scottish government to seek another vote on whether Scotland should be part of the UK. Labour member George Jacobson insisted another referendum, particularly if it led to independence, was a bad idea and isles MSP Tavish Scott said the idea was divisive.

The split in opinion comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she wanted to seek parliamentary approval to begin discussions with the Westminster government over a second referendum.

Shetland rejected Scottish independence on 18th September 2014, with the no side recording a 27.4 per cent majority.

In total, 9,951 no votes were cast, while the yes campaign attracted 5,669 voters.

Much has taken place since the vote, which was billed at the time as a “once in a generation” campaign by the SNP.

Today the party and other pro-independence supporters point to Brexit, and the triggering of Article 50, as a material change in circumstances – enough, in other words, to warrant another vote on the issue.

More than 62 per cent of Scottish voters favoured remaining in the EU, compared with 38 per cent who backed Brexit.

Mr McGregor said he believed parliament would support the referendum.

“I’m very happy there will be another referendum,” he said.

“Shetland, and every area in Scotland, voted to remain in the EU.

“Now Theresa May will take us out against our will. If you recall, Better Together warned us a yes vote would take us out of the European Union. They need to come up with a better script this time.”

An interesting dimension of the second referendum will be how the fishing sector, which is seen as largely pro-Brexit, will react to the news.


“Do not depend on a UK government to look after Shetland’s fishing industry. I feel very strongly about that.” Robbie McGregor


Chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation Bertie Armstrong said the focus of the fishing industry was entirely on ensuring it was free “from the straitjacket of the Common Fisheries Policy”.

Fishing leaders argue the CFP forces the industry to “give away to other EU countries almost 60 per cent” of the fish in local waters.

Mr Armstrong added: “Any constitutional arrangement under which we would continue to be bound by the CFP would be unacceptable to the industry.”

For his part, Mr McGregor insisted the fishing industry could only be protected if conditions were negotiated with a Scottish government.

“Do not depend on a UK government to look after Shetland’s fishing industry,” he warned. “I feel very strongly about that.”

Tavish Scott greeted the notion of a ‘divisive’ second independence referendum with disdain.

But Isles MSP Tavish Scott has warned that Nicola Sturgeon failed to answer questions over whether and independent Scotland would be in or out of the EU. If it was in the European Union, he warned, it would be bound by the terms of CFP.

Some recent polls have suggested that support for Scottish independence is evenly split.

Mr McGregor said it would take time to convince traditional no-voters as the proposed referendum, which could take place in the autumn of next year at the earliest, draws nearer.

“By the time the legislation goes through, my guess would be it would be late in 2018, which is a very long way away,” he said.

“I’m a democrat before I am a nationalist, and it also gives the other side time to put forward their case.”

He denied the SNP was chipping away until it got the answer it wanted.

“There has been a material change in circumstances since the last referendum.”

Asked for his view on the fact the UK as a whole had voted to leave the EU, he said: “I’m going to fight Shetland’s corner and Scotland’s corner.”

Isles MSP Tavish Scott greeted the news with disdain. And he said the blame laid squarely, not with the First Minister, but with Mrs May’s predecessor at Number 10.

“And so it begins again,” he said in a statement. “Just two years after putting the country through one divisive referendum, the SNP are using the chaos of Brexit to force another one. Shetland made its position very clear in voting to remain in the EU and even more so, by wishing to be part of the UK. That is what I want to see happen.

“Is Scotland never going to concentrate on standards in our schools, the lack of GPs across the country and the need to lower ferry fares for islanders? Instead, Scotland will now be in full campaign mode until the second referendum takes place.

“The person responsible for all this is not Nicola Sturgeon – it is David Cameron. He gambled with the UK’s future to resolve the historical fault lines within the Conservative Party. He is to blame for the mess of not one but two referendums, perpetual uncertainty and a future where Scotland could leave both the European and UK single markets.”

Mr Scott said voters in the isles would have to analyse what was in the interests of the isles and keep in mind whether the SNP’s plan for an independent Scotland was to be in or out of the EU.

“I will work with that new council on exploring what is in Shetland’s interests,” he added.

Local Labour member George Jacobson is not impressed with the idea of another referendum.

“As far as Scotland is concerned, something like four times our trade is with the rest of the UK compared with the EU.

“Somebody spoke about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I would say to have a Scottish referendum and look to leave the UK union – not only are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater, we’re throwing the bath, the bog pan, the bidet, the whole lot.”

• More reaction in this week’s Shetland Times.


Add Your Comment
  • Brian Smith

    • March 13th, 2017 18:20

    Three years ago the Shetland Labour, Liberal and Tory Parties fought together for a No vote in the Scottish referendum. Maurice Mullay, Theo Smith and Irvine Tait marched together on Commercial Street.
    What was their aim? To keep the working classes in Scotland and England united.
    The three parties must have regarded their 2014 campaign as a success. None of them has uttered a word about the working classes and their travails since … or anything else.
    I will be keeping an eye open for more politics on Da Street soon.

    • Brian Smith

      • March 15th, 2017 7:38

      There’s an excellent article by George Monbiot in today’s Guardian about this subject:

      Let’s hope that at least one of the three unionist parties takes a different tack this time!

    • Johan Adamson

      • March 15th, 2017 10:26

      Yes, some have been lambasting Corbyn for months for his lack of opposition to May and hard Brexit. Now one leader (female, Scottish) is doing something about it, offering the chance to still be in or re-join the EU and are they happy? No. I think its an hilarious upset of the applecart and even better if Wales and Northern Ireland decide to follow. What a hussey.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 13th, 2017 19:10

    As expected, and being happy changes nothing.
    • Doesn’t change that most people in Scotland reject separatism.
    • Doesn’t change a penny of Scotland’s deficit.
    • Doesn’t change the fact that with independence in 2014 we would be out of the EU already, and in financial meltdown.
    • Doesn’t change that we were told indyref1 was once in a generation.
    • Doesn’t change a single word of the Copenhagen Criteria.
    • Doesn’t change the fact that Scotland gets more out of the union than it pays in.
    • Doesn’t change the ratio that the UK’s Single market is worth 4 times the EU single market to Scotland.
    • Doesn’t change the lack of central bank, lender of last resort or currency reserves.
    • Doesn’t change the thousands of Scots threatened with negative equity if they are paid in a different currency from their GBP mortgage.
    • Doesn’t change the still undisclosed set up costs of an independent state.
    • Doesn’t change the SNPs abysmal record of a decades abuse and mismanagement of Health, Police and local government.
    • Doesn’t change the fact that the SNP barely use the powers they have on Tax, benefits etc.
    • Doesn’t change any of the lies the YES campaign told on oil, borders, nuclear waste, EU legal advice, the economy or a thousand others.
    • Doesn’t change that Nationalism is by definition discriminatory, based on imaginary lines on a map.
    Brexit may be a bumpy ride, and a theoretical hard Brexit may put us in a frying pan; but when your hand is in the frying pan, you can’t fix it by sticking both your feet in the fire.

    • Brian Smith

      • March 13th, 2017 20:21

      Nobody should read the Express.

      • ian tinkler

        • March 14th, 2017 10:01

        Left wing censorship of the press Brian Smith. How Very Soviet, how very typical!! Perhaps the Socialist Worker suits you better?

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 15th, 2017 9:54

        Says a Guardian reader, ha ha ha.

    • Charles L. Gallagher

      • March 15th, 2017 19:34

      Ah, Gordon still sprouting the same old ‘FAKE NEWS’. Anyway now that you are living in ‘MIDDLE TORY ENGLAND’ I thought that you might have turned your undoubted talent for stirring-it, to start a campaign to improve the failing services like your NHS, your schools, your prisons, your infrastructure etc? If Dispatches on Ch4 on Monday night is anything to go by NHS England lost over four and a half thousand EU nurses and doctors in the last twelve months and all that when there is already a shortage of nurses and doctors. And BREXIT hasn’t started yet and when it does then the country will really start to fall apart – and it will.

      Maybe you should also campaign for your great benevolent England to ditch us ‘Subsidy Junkies’ as your precious Daily Fail and Daily Torygraph see us?????

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 16th, 2017 9:07

        Charlie, nice of you to show concern for the state of things in England, the funny thing is I personally cannot complain about things down here, they are on a par if not better than in Scotland. Another good bit of news is the unemployment figures, the UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest since the summer of 1975, with a record number of people in work, the only place to buck this trend is Scotland where uncertainty over indy ref 2 is hurting the unemployment figures. Which shows Brexit is having no adverse affect on employment in the UK as a whole but independence is having a detrimental affect in Scotland. I would imaging the next news will be the building of navy warships on the Clyde will be delayed until the uncertainty of indy ref 2 has been taken of the table. By the way Charlie have you added the phrase “FAKE NEWS” to the list of SNP soundbites, it will make a change from “project fear” and “scaremongering”. Let me give you a new one which your comments have brought to mind “phsycobabble”. Have a nice day my old friend. 😉

      • Graham Fleming

        • March 18th, 2017 12:57

        England can dae nae wrong cos the daily express says so.Bring back Fred West where was he M.P for again he had a far better smile than thon sneaky Tony Blair.

  • Ali Inkster

    • March 13th, 2017 20:04

    So if Shetland votes to remain in the UK will the snp drag us out against our will should a greater percentage of glaswegians and dundonians vote to leave the UK this time?

  • Douglas Young

    • March 13th, 2017 21:01

    Any NO supporter who is utterly fed up with referendums should boycott the next Independence one and refuse to vote

    • Gordon Harmer

      • March 14th, 2017 21:51

      Douglas politics is a soup and I am afraid you are a fork.

    • ian tinkler

      • March 15th, 2017 12:09

      Douglas does it not cross your mind that Sturgeon actually does not want an Indyref 2 at the time she has forwarded. I can see no way on Earth May would sanction a referendum during the final stages of the Brexit negotiations. Nippy is trying to keep her Nats on board and yet again blame Westminster for their discomfiture and confoundment. Try reading my website for an alternative Shetland, enjoy!

  • Brian Nugent

    • March 13th, 2017 21:51

    Gordon, if there is a positive case to be made for the UK then, this time round, make it.

    But with comments like this – • Doesn’t change any of the lies the YES campaign told on oil, borders, nuclear waste, EU legal advice, the economy or a thousand others – looks like Project Fear is up and running already.

    • Gordon Harmer

      • March 14th, 2017 14:02

      No Brian I am going to concentrate on the lies told by the yes campaign and the lies told by the SNP. An absolute cracker is the one where Sturgeon and yessers says we were told that if we wanted to stay in the EU we had to vote no. The Scottish governments white paper mentioned that if we stayed in the the Union there was going to be an EU referendum which could drag us out of the EU so we needed to vote yes. David Cameron made it clear there would be a referendum on the 23 of January 2013, a year and a half before the referendum so we all knew what we were voting for.
      Oil is another lie, it has been proved that oil was a integral part of financing independence and not a bonus as claimed by Sturgeon and Salmond and the yes campaign. These lies show the true colours of the indy ref 1 campaign and people need to know the the nature of the beast which has once more raised its head. I understand why you don’t like it Brian, because the truth hurts, and it will hurt your new campaign.

    • Ali Inkster

      • March 14th, 2017 14:09

      Brian it was the yes campaign in the form of the snp that lied about legal advice on joining the EU and they are at it again

  • Bruce Smith

    • March 13th, 2017 22:06

    Well here we go again. When the Scots were fighting the English we in Zetland were owned by Norway/Denmark. So our political thinking may differ from Scotland. When Nicola comes on the TV I turn it over as she make no sense to me.
    What will the cost be. The ship I was on was in Rio and the bus trip I was paying for was £40. I had Scottish pounds so I had to pay £58 for the same trip. No hope for my retirement. I hope I can cast my vote this time as as last time when I left home it was too soon to post my vote so I was on board my ship when the voting was.

  • ian tinkler

    • March 14th, 2017 10:19

    Could there ever be a better time for Shetland to break away from Scotland, the UK and the EU? A golden opportunity, probably Nicola Sturgeon has unintentionally offered Shetland a huge gift, time for a real change, Shetland Autonomy. Let’s size that “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

    • john bain

      • March 14th, 2017 12:53

      Given the possibility, if not probability, that Scottish Independence will happen ………….. interested parties should look up Dr. T.M.Y. Manson’s comments in the New Shetlander 1978. He did an article on “The Shetland Report” commissioned by the Shetland Islands Council and prepared by The Nevis Institute in 1978 which looked at options for Shetland during the time of North Sea Oil.

      Also worthy of note are the thoughts of John P. Grant, then head of The Department of Public International Law, Glasgow University that an independant Scotland would possibly lose its claims to Shetland and NS Oil because independance would bring Scotland back to her position prior to 1707 ( The act of union between Scotland and England ) thereby Shetland should then, in a British context at least , belong to England and Wales !

      Superseding all these comments will be the possibility of Norway claiming to redeem Shetland back under it’s governance in one way or another, there is no doubt whatsoever that any of the 11 previous attempts between 1469 and 1667 to redeem both Orkney and Shetland by Denmark / Norway were ignored by Scotland and eventually Britain meaning that both acted totally illegally.

      • David Spence

        • March 14th, 2017 16:46

        ‘ Shetland should then, in a British context at least , belong to England and Wales ! ‘

        This is exactly why David Cameron was up 1 month before the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, John.

        If the choice of the people was for Scotland to be independent, but Shetland voted ‘ No ‘, Shetland could then join England, thus all revenue from Sullom Voe and other oil/gas related industries would go directly to Westminster. Even the one and only Tory MSP, 2 weeks before the Scottish Referendum, was up here…….no doubt singing the same song as Cameron.

        If Shetland was stupid enough to side with England, you can bet England would pay little attention to the islands other than what, economically, the islands could put into the coffers of England.

        Remember, a Tory MP, is only interested in themselves and what they can exploit without having to pay for it…………….In Shetland’s case…….Shetland giving a lot to England, but receiving nothing in return.

        The UK, is £1.6 Trillion in debt………….Norway is over £ 990 Billion in the black.

        If I had a choice, Norway would win hands down.

    • Charlie Banham

      • March 14th, 2017 13:55

      Having read your comment in the Shetland times regarding the announcement of the next Scottish referendum, as a relative newcomer to Shetland( 9 years and counting), I sincerely question whether or not there is anyone in Shetland capable of  being a successful leader if we in Shetland  ever earn  the right to  govern ourselves?
      I  ask this valid question because we, collectively, as Shetlanders are never happy with the job that that the SIC do on a daily basis. keeping in mind it is US who vote in the councillors .
      All of the blame and rhetoric  for things going wrong is aimed at Holyrood and the SNP ( and just a smidgen at Westminster) when in fact much of what has gone wrong in recent years is, in reality home grown – waste of untold millions of pounds on vanity projects which show all too often not to be value for money.

      If Shetland shows it can run itself successfully prudently and  efficiently, within the  constraints now in place ( as all other local authorities are supposed to do) we as Shetlanders could make a very strong case for independence

      • Ali Inkster

        • March 14th, 2017 14:11

        The council for all it’s faults are hampered in anything they do by the penny pinching of holyrood and the red tape from brussels. Given that we pay far more into the exchequer than we get back we couldn’t do any worse than we are now.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 14th, 2017 16:01

        Much that has gone wrong in Shetland is indeed homegrown, however, much in the Council is far from independent of central control. Budgets are rigorously controlled by the central government with funds allocated under strict protocols. An autonomous Shetland would truly be in control of its finances, not hamstrung by EU, SG/SNP and UK directives. Much dead wood and pointless red tape could be cut away. Mistakes will be made but they will be our own, not inflicted on us by distant politicians with agendas that are quite wrong for Shetland.

  • John Irvine

    • March 14th, 2017 13:42

    Is Nicola Sturgeon a modern day Joan of Arc?

    Will her end be the same?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 15th, 2017 8:40

    This petition to stop indy ref 2 has shot over the 100,000 in two days and is still climbing. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/180642
    There is also a poll out this morning showing the No vote at 57%, between the poll and the petition being debated in Westminster lets hope there will be no indy ref 2.
    Teresa May being a democrat will maybe listen to the 55% who said No in 2014, unlike the antidemocratic Nicola Sturgeon who has trampled all over the 55%.

    • Robert Sim

      • March 15th, 2017 11:57

      We don’t govern by petition, Gordon. The Scottish Government was democratically elected by the Scottish electorate.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 15th, 2017 14:50

        Would that be the same electorate that rejected Independence in a once in a lifetime vote, Robert Sim, a year or so back?. The same one in the latest of polls that found even less appetite for an Independence than any time since long before the Referendum (37%). Sturgeon is either being very clever or has utterly misjudged the Scottish electorate. Shetland deserves more sanity than this, let us all go for Shetland autonomy, not Nationalist divisive nonsense (Government policy by opinion poll).

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 15th, 2017 16:52

        Independence was rejected in 2014 by that same electorate Robert, or had you forgotten.
        The petition proves there is no support for another referendum, You Gov’s poll shows there is no support for independence.

      • Robert Sim

        • March 15th, 2017 19:44

        Ian, I am afraid your argument falls. You can’t compare a referendum result, where folk vote on a single issue rather than political parties, to an election, where the latter is the case. And you certainly can’t compare either to an opinion poll.
        You might not like the present Scottish Government but they are our democratically elected devolved administration, elected on a manifesto which was clear to all.

      • James Watt

        • March 15th, 2017 20:27

        In case you missed it Gordon, the YouGov poll does actually show a majority support for the referendum,

        “If Nicola Sturgeon calls for a second independence referendum, do you think the UK government should or should not agree to one taking place?

        Should agree : 52%
        Should not agree : 48%”

        It also neglected to question 16 and 17 year olds so your 57% might be nearer 55%


      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 16th, 2017 7:39

        Robert Sim, I have no problem with Sturgeon calling an Indiref2. After all, she purports to be a Nationalist and Independence is her driving force, in my opinion, there is little else to her, beyond Nationalism. If the population of mainland Scotland wishes to follow her. so be it, that is their choice. However, let the people of Shetland and Orkney go a different route if their electorates so wish. Do yo have a problem with that? After Scotish Nationalist Governments have totally neglected us for years! (An Audit Scotland report showed that Shetland had lost 23 per cent of its funding over the past seven years. With more savage cuts to come from central Government.) https://www.iantinklerwildcroft.com/

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 16th, 2017 9:19

        James, yes I think if the “Scottish government” call for indy ref 2 there should be one but not if Sturgeon calls for one. Are insinuating she is a dictator and what she wants she gets? But having said that I think Teresa May should give the Scottish government a choice, they either have indy ref 2 in August / September of this year or wait until the after the next Scottish elections and the Brexit deal to determine if there really is a mandate for one. Because a minority government has no mandate to call one, but if they are so confident then have it this year. This should not bother you as, as you have stated you have your new secret weapons, the 16 to 17 year olds.
        At the same time I still believe that this was settled in 2014 and another referendum can only cause more division to Scotland and harm to its future and its economy.

      • ROBERT SIM

        • March 16th, 2017 14:36

        “However, let the people of Shetland and Orkney go a different route if their electorates so wish. Do yo have a problem with that?” Since you ask, Ian, I have no problem with any democratic decision.

      • ian_tinkler

        • March 16th, 2017 15:11

        For once we agree Robert.

      • James Watt

        • March 16th, 2017 21:03

        “they either have indy ref 2 in August / September of this year or wait until the after the next Scottish elections and the Brexit deal to determine if there really is a mandate for one. Because a minority government has no mandate to call one”

        If the Scottish government can get a vote through the Scottish parliament then it has a mandate to ask Westminster for permission to hold a referendum, and that’s the process that the Scottish government will follow, being a minority government doesn’t make the government any less legitimate.
        Ultimately there is only one reason we are even discussing the prospect of a referendum being called, and it’s not because of the SNP, the prospect of a referendum on the EU was widely rejected by the Scottish public at the 2015 GE, the Tories and UKIP only recieved 11% of the vote from the total electorate, at the EU referendum Leave only received 25.5% of the available vote from the Scottish electorate so it’s pretty clear who and what doesn’t have a mandate in Scotland, so the PM will need to judge the mood in Scotland carefully or it could backfire spectacularly.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 17th, 2017 12:55

        But James you are forgetting only 25% of the Scottish electorate put this minority government in, so no mandate for indy ref 2, 3, 4, or 5 end of.
        Indy ref 1 is done and dusted accept it for goodness sake.
        But hey it kind of looks like someone has spoiled the SNP plans, this is not the time foe indy ref 2.

      • James Watt

        • March 17th, 2017 15:38

        Gordon, I didn’t forget about the 25% vote for the SNP in 2016, I did however run out of words before I got around to the interesting fact that at the 2015 GE the Tories received 24.3% of the total available vote, strangely enough I don’t remember you questioning their mandate to hold the EU referendum.
        This is entirely irrelevant though and you know that fine well, the SNP are the biggest party in Holyrood and as such they have the mandate to implement policies from their election manifesto as long as they can get the policy voted through parliament. Should they get a vote through parliament to ask for permission to hold a referendum then its entirely up to Theresa May what she does next, she’s already said now is not the time, just a shame nobody was asking for one now.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 15th, 2017 10:58

    Let Sturgeon have her day. She is already splitting the SNP and we have major backpedalling from Jim Sillars and Angus Robertson over Europe/Brexit. Sturgeons bitter “Trump-like” tweets regarding mandates are perhaps playing well into May’s hands. No mandate tweets Nicola at May! Is Nicola trying to goad May? I have a feeling she is silly enough to try. May may well retaliate by holding off, IndyRef2, until after the next Scottish and English General Elections. No question about mandates then, Brexit all done and dusted, perhaps that is Nicola’s hope, to avoid doing a spectacular Salmond type failure, yet keep faith with the painted Blue faces of the ultra Scot Nationalists prior to the SNP conference. Just a thought.

    • Ian Tinkler

      • March 16th, 2017 15:39

      “The UK government is to reject calls for a Scottish independence referendum before Brexit after Theresa May said “now was not the time”. Well absolutely no surprise there. Now wait for Sturgeon to scream and squeal like a skewered pig.. I think it will be held (Indieref2) after he next Scottish and Westminster Election as long as the polls are in favour! for the SNP.

  • Mark Ryan Smith

    • March 15th, 2017 16:41

    It would be really great, in the months ahead, if folk could speak about their ideas on this site without immediately coming under attack. Being respectful might encourage people to write things, and to listen to opposing views.

    There’s a useful little article on Bella Caledonia today about how we might behave in the run-up to the referendum, no matter which side we decide to support.


  • ian_tinkler

    • March 17th, 2017 14:50

    Game over for now. Whoop, Whoop, Whooop

    • Bill Adams

      • March 17th, 2017 16:10

      You may think it is over, Mr Tinkler, but I assure you that the game of three-dimensional chess
      has only just started .

      • ian tinkler

        • March 18th, 2017 9:30

        “I assure you that the game of three-dimensional chess
        has only just started”. That is so reassuring Bill Adams. But for now it looks a bit like “Check Mate”! Maybe not for a generation, but at least until after the next couple of elections. At that time May and Sturgeon will at lest have positive mandates. To my mind neither does at the moment.

  • ian tinkler

    • March 17th, 2017 21:56

    “Sturgeon up for referendum date talks”. Just in what direction is this woman pointing?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 18th, 2017 9:41

    It’s a few days since Sturgeon announced she wanted to hold another referendum and a few less since the PM responded with a firm no, or at least a firm not yet hen. Already, a few preliminary points are worth making.
    First, understand that until the UK government says, yes have independence now and on your terms, the protagonists of separatism will never be satisfied. In fact, even if they got it, there would still be a post separation narrative that blames Westminster for the many problems that would inevitably befall an independent Scotland.
    Which leads neatly to a second point, don’t be fooled by the issue of EU membership, the SNP’s current grievance. If the EU weren’t the excuse for the recent apoplectic state of the party’s leadership, it would be something else.

    • Graham Fleming

      • March 18th, 2017 11:42

      Many of the world’s problems were Westminster namely the taking of 150 million lives in its pursuit of gain and glory . Today an English state pension is £ 6000 and Germanys is £26600,since Germany is the democratic leader of Europe now and given up on delusions of grandeur.How many more illegal wars are we to endure living in a deranged military junta before the whole of the British Isles follows Scotland lead and wants normality inside the European. Union.

      • David Spence

        • March 18th, 2017 17:22

        I blame the Banks – Afterall, War and Conflict brings in huge profits for the Banks – especially of 1 particular country, whose sole foreign policy has been designed to suit their banking system.

    • Brian Smith

      • March 18th, 2017 13:54

      Just a wee point: if you copy something from the internet, it’s good practice to give chapter and verse for it.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 18th, 2017 21:21

        Uncertainty caused by the threat of a second referendum is putting jobs and investment in the North Sea at risk, a new report has said. The report by Edinburgh-based analysts Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) warns “new investment and jobs” are at stake. The report states that prospects for the future tax take are being overshadowed by questions about who will subsidise decommissioning liabilities. WoodMac points to 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) lying in Scottish waters. There is also an obligation to break up the majority of fields, equating to 80 per cent of the total UK decommissioning bill. The report said: “Critically, political uncertainty could deter investors from committing to new projects. With new investment and jobs at risk, and the complicating factors of boundaries and decommissioning tax relief, much is at stake.” WoodMac states that “since the 2014 referendum, commercial reserves have decreased by about 30 per cent”. It added: “Companies will be looking for reassurances that, should Scotland vote for independence, they will continue to have access to the decommissioning tax relief they currently receive.” The report was published while questions continued to be asked about the currency that would be used by an independent Scotland.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 19th, 2017 10:15

        When you think about it the SNP went into their 2017 Conference 1 week ago with trouble brewing,Business rates fiasco,CAP farm payments fiasco,SNP councillors leaving them to go independent, EU situation, falling education,high unemployment and now the highest taxed country in the UK, even Alex Salmond hinted he could return as FM.
        So whats the best way to divert a crisis and create a distraction from these SNP failures,simple seek a section 30 order to start another Independence campaign and keep the SNP sheep happy.
        Nicola Sturgeon has gotten off again,she has the media talking about Indy2 instead of the SNP failures again.

        ‎John Clark‎ to Fishing Onward To Brexit

  • Daniel Howitt

    • March 18th, 2017 19:50

    Why doesnt shetland ask for Isle of Man status with the Uk? All affairs down to the SIC appart from Defence and Foreign affairs. Plus rUK will be looking for somewhere to base a load of ships when the Clyde becomes unavailable.

    • John Burns

      • March 19th, 2017 10:12

      A very good idea, you would also have control over your fisheries, particularly if you joined up with the Orkneys. The Isle Of Man is asuccessful island economy and is adaptable. Your fish products, whisky, gin etc would have a good market in rest of UK. You could ensure North Link is owned in the Islands and a link with Newcastle is most probably not that much further time wise than Aberdeen.
      If Scotland votes to leave UK and rejoin or remain in Europe, guess where the land grab will be from Europe, access to Scottish fishing grounds.

      • Graham Fleming

        • March 19th, 2017 13:41

        Yes England will expect you to do your duty Mr Burns perpetual illegal wars and the deserved lowest pensions in Europe. BUT NEVER MIND YOU WILL HAVE THE HONOUR OF CALLING YOURSELF -BRITISH. Something I used to be but fervently now renounce and want to join – the HUMAN race.

    • Derick Tulloch

      • April 15th, 2017 13:29

      Why doesn’t Shetland ask for Isle of Man status with the UK?

      1 The isle of Man has 12 mile enclaved territorial waters (just as the Channel Isles have).

      2 There will be no rUK to be associated with. In the event of Scottish Independence we return to the status quo ante of 1706 and the UK will therefore be dissolved

      3 More broadly, the Crown Dependencies don’t seem to be great places for the ordinary working man and woman to live. Read up on the ‘Jersey Swamp’

      • Ian Tinkler

        • April 16th, 2017 12:56

        Well Derick, they at least manage to take their sick and infirm to a hospital by air, not stuck for hours and hours on a ferry. Nor had their funding cut by 23% either.

      • Peter Brown

        • April 16th, 2017 16:40

        Mr Tulloch you are confused. The swamps are in New Jersey. The one in America. There are no swamps in Jersey. It’s nine by five miles and a fabulous place for the ‘ordinary man and woman’ to live. So long as you can afford it. I should know because I’ve lived there for the last five years. And later this year it seems I will be returning to Shetland, which is also a fabulous place.

  • James Sandison

    • March 19th, 2017 11:22

    We have Theresa May saying that a Scottish independence referendum should not take place before the people know the terms of the “Brexit divorce settlement” . Could this be the same government that thought it OK to have a Brexit referendum with neither the people nor the leaders having any idea what the terms of a “Brexit divorce settlement” would be?
    What a bunch of shallow opportunists all political leaders are.
    The situation we find ourselves in is similar to getting stuck in a quagmire, the more we struggle to escape, the deeper into the morass we sink. We are already up to our necks, and the PM seems to think that the man able to throw a lifeline rope to haul us out is THE DONALD (Aaaaaah!!!!!).
    How badly we have been served, misdirected and misled by a hopeless political elite of all shades.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • March 19th, 2017 19:44

    We will all have noticed Sturgeon is now referring to the will of the Scottish parliament, not the will of the Scottish people. Obviously because the Scottish people do not want Indy ref 2 or independence. What ever happened to the SNPs mantra that the Scottish people are sovereign?


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