Northern Irish island campaigns to join independent Scotland

Often cited as the location where Robert the Bruce found inspiration from a determined spider, Rathlin Island could again become linked with the Scottish independence movement.

Rathlin Island sits off the coast of Northern Ireland. Picture: Creative Commons
Rathlin Island sits off the coast of Northern Ireland. Picture: Creative Commons

Residents on the island, located off the North west coast of Northern Ireland, are concerned what the future will bring in light of the Leave vote winning the EU referendum.

The island has benefitted greatly from European funding as it helped secure a modern harbour and connections to the National Grid.

There have been growing calls for independence in Scotland after the country voted overwhelming to Remain in the European Union, while the UK as a whole voted to Leave. Northern Ireland, like Scotland, also voted to Remain.

The people on the island have, therefore, “half jokingly” discussed the possibility of joining their “historic friends” should an independent Scotland become part of the EU.

A spokesman for the campaign told The Herald: “In the immediate aftermath of the referendum result, people on Rathlin talked, like people all over the UK, of little else.

“And very quickly talk turned, only half jokingly, to new ways of thinking about the island’s relationship with its neighbouring islands. A unilateral declaration of independence worked for some, but others looked east and north to Rathlin’s historic friends in Scotland.”

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