Isles MSPs call for ‘proper’ debate

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An MSP has said he wants to ensure a proper debate is conducted about the future of the Northern Isles in light of the upcoming referendum on independence.

Tavish Scott, Liberal Democrat MSP for Shetland, said he is “not at all convinced” that his constituents will vote for independence and that the vote poses “a great opportunity” for them to gain extra powers.

He and Liam McArthur, a Liberal Democrat MSP who represents Orkney, have submitted a joint response to the UK Government’s consultation on the referendum.

Mr Scott said: “Instead of just being seen as a box off the Moray Firth, we want to make sure that we’re the centre and the rest of the UK is the box off our coastline, and that’s how we want to frame this debate which is an important one for our islands in the coming months and indeed years until we have that vote in 2014.”