Orkney's genuine grievances cannot be ignored as they consider leaving Scotland and the UK – Scotsman comment

Brexiteers and Scottish independence supporters face a challenge to their ideas about nationality

After 2014 and 2016, is there to be another separatist referendum within the UK? Councillors of Orkney have agreed to investigate a number of alternative forms of government, including leaving the UK to become a self-governing territory of a Scandinavian country like Norway.

Brexiteers in Westminster and Scottish nationalists at Holyrood may soon find some of their own rhetoric turned against them as Orcadians ponder making a bid for freedom. Councillors spoke of having “lost faith” in and getting a “raw deal” from both governments; and even David Dawson – a councillor who voted against further consideration of the various proposals, describing them as ranging from “arguably reasonable, to ambitious, to bizarre” – said he sympathised with council leader James Stockan’s frustrations.

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Will Edinburgh issue a firm “no” and insist this is quite different to Westminister’s “no” to a second referendum? Will other areas, equally unhappy, start to join in?

Orkney, like many councils, does appear to have a genuine grievance about underfunding. It might all sound a bit amusing, but the Scottish Government should treat their concerns with the seriousness they deserve.



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