3rd July 2023

Orkney politicians propose Norway merger

Politicians in Orkney proposed breaking away from the UK to reunite with Norway, or at least finding some way to give Orkney more autonomy.

Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides had been part of the kingdom of Norway for centuries until they passed to Scotland in 1472. Scotland and Norway had earlier signed the Treaty of Perth, which gave over the equally disputed Hebrides to Scotland, but had reinforced Norway’s claim over Orkney.

Political pressures

The move to break away from the United Kingdom a little over seven years after a slim majority of voters committed the country at large to leave the United Kingdom. Scotland thus lost its EU membership simultaneously, despite a majority of Scottish voters having cast a vote to remain. A previous proposal to give Orkney more autonomy, in 2017, had been complicated by the outcome of the vote, which had required politicians to take a wait-and-see approach rather than pushing things through.

Orkney Council leader James Stockan explained the proposal to the BBC, stating that Orkney had “contributed for the last 40 years through north sea oil, and the dividend we get back isn’t sufficient to keep us going”.



Other events that occured in July

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