Scottish Greens have passed a motion supporting Shetland autonomy – up to the “Faroese model”.
Proposed by Shetland Greens councillor Alex Armitage, the motion was backed by 88 per cent of party members at the autumn conference in Dunfermline.
The Shetland South member said devolution, localism and “power to the people” were key aspects of Green philosophy – and argued that decisions made locally tended to be better than those taken hundreds of kilometres away.
“That is why Greens support Scottish independence, and that is why Greens should support Shetlanders if we want to have more power to make decisions that affect us,” Dr Armitage said.
The motion agreed to support Shetland to achieve political and economic autonomy, as directed by the “democratic will of the people”, up to and including that of the Faroese.
Faroe’s status as a self-governing nation under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark means it has powers over wide ranging areas including trade, taxation, energy and social security.
It is often cited as an example for Shetland to follow.
While acknowledging such a major change was unrealistic for Shetland to pursue in the short-term, Dr Armitage suggested, in the first instance, seeking more devolved powers via the Islands Act.
He said ideas about joining Norway or unilaterally declaring independence seemed “fairly grandiose – certainly in the short term”
“Faroese society has thrived since folk there have taken more powers into local hands.
“To me it makes total sense to take an active interest in how this has taken place, and look into how we might replicate that in Shetland.”