FAQ

  • Economy
  • Autonomy
  • European Union
Questions about the Economy of an autonomous Shetland
Questions about the process of achieving autonomy and the governmental structure afterwards.
Questions about an autonomous Shetlands relationship with the European Union
Expand All | Collapse All
  • 1. What EEZ will we be entitled to?
     

    The key legislation relating to Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) is the United Nations Convention on the Law Of the Sea or UNCLOS. This law states that independent states have a right to an EEZ up to 200Nmi from their coast. Where there are two nations with overlapping claims then those two nations should negotiate a mutual agreement.

    When the UK negotiated with Norway and Faroe (Denmark) over the EEZ around Shetland, they agreed a border set by the mid points between Shetland, Faroe and Norway. You can read our previous posts on this question here and here.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(4) / No(2)
    Viewed 1305 Times 63 Comments
  • 2. Where will the money come from?
     

    Economic data on Shetland is not generally available separate from the rest of Scotland, but the SIC’s Shetland Input-Output Study/Regional Accounts 2010-2011, is a 7-yearly in-depth study of the Shetland economy. The most recent study reported a balance of trade surplus of £130 million (2010-11) and some crude but very conservative calculations indicate the new government would enjoy well over £150 million pa more revenue than the SIC has now.
    These figures are based on personal and business taxes, VAT, Rates, etc raised on Shetland.

    The deeper the Scottish government cuts funding, the greater would be the benefit of autonomy.

    With the significant marine resources on our doorstep we would benefit from taxation of the oil and gas industry and its employees, as well as increased tax from an expanded fishing industry and the sale of fishing licences to vessels from other jurisdictions.

    The economic data that is available indicates that Shetland is more than capable of financing it's own government.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(2) / No(1)
    Viewed 1157 Times 35 Comments
  • 3. What will happen to the CFP/fishing industry?
     

    Wir Shetland believe the current system is morally wrong, the dumping of perfectly good fish must be halted.

    We are campaigning for the power to control our own fishing grounds and end the reign of the CFP in Shetland waters which would mean leaving the EU. We believe this to be necessary for the good of Shetland.

    Wir Shetland are committed to the principal that the waters around Shetland should be controlled by Shetland for Shetland.

    In order to achieve an outcome that is both workable and equitable Wir Shetland are committed to consulting with industry bodies, individual skippers, owners, and crew.

    Wir Shetland recognise that the EU and UK governments do not have a good record when it comes to consultations with the fishing industry and that conditions/stocks can change quickly. Any solution implemented by an autonomous Shetland must be representative and responsive to both the requirements of industry and stocks.

    What will finally happen to the CFP and the fishing industry will be up to the people of Shetland via the democratically elected government, backed by a referendum if leaving the EU. However, Wir Shetland believe that all marine resources around Shetland should be, by law, the property of the Shetland people, managed responsibly to optimise the socio-economic benefits to Shetland, overall.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(3) / No(2)
    Viewed 906 Times 4 Comments
  • 4. Will we lose access to EU markets and other benefits like free movement of labour and capital?‬
     

    No. Britain is a member of the EU and if, as a British Overseas Territory, we left the EU, we would still be entitled to the above benefits via the UK.‬

    Of course, we would lose access to EU grants, some of which have been stopped already because the EU has judged we do not need assistance in the affected fields - nothing is guaranteed to last forever.

    Somebody has to pay for EU grants and of course, it's the taxpayer. As we would no longer be paying tax to the EU (via the UK), that money would be available for grants from the Shetland government, as would some of the moneys from the additional revenue from fishing and oil and gas.‬

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(1) / No(0)
    Viewed 127 Times No Comments
  • 5. What will happen to the oil revenue?
     

    The democratically elected government will determine how best to use oil revenue and other moneys, according to the wishes of the Shetland people.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(0) / No(0)
    Viewed 1154 Times 30 Comments
  • 6. What will happen to Shetland agriculture?
     

    Agriculture will continue to be a key industry that will require continuing subsidy to achieve the aims of the Shetland people.

    Somebody has to pay for EU grants and of course, it's the taxpayer. As we would no longer be paying tax to the EU (via the UK), that money would be available for grants from the Shetland government, as would some of the moneys from the additional revenue from fishing and oil and gas.‬

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(3) / No(0)
    Viewed 982 Times 40 Comments
  • 7. What will happen to the NHS?
     

    Our health service will continue to be provided as now, except contracted from the NHS with true local accountability via the Shetland government i.e. led by an elected government minister, accountable to parliament. Future changes to the service will be the responsibility of the Shetland government, according to the wishes of the Shetland people.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(2) / No(1)
    Viewed 1099 Times 21 Comments
  • 1. What are the aims of Wir Shetland?
     

    To protect the long term interests of Shetlanders by achieving self-governing autonomy, in line with the democratic wishes of residents.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(0) / No(0)
    Viewed 973 Times 51 Comments
  • 2. Will the SIC be in charge after autonomy?
     

    The SIC would cease to exist under Wir Shetlands proposal and the transition to the new arrangement, including the transfer of new powers would be part of the negotiated agreement. It's likely that would take a short period of years to fully accomplish e.g. 1 to 3 years, from start of transfer, depending on the length of the period of preparation beforehand.

    Elected officials will have to stand for election in the new government where members of the parliament should be properly remunerated to attract able individuals and the pool of available political talent should be much larger than now.

    Government departments will be led by an elected minister to provide public accountability for performance.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(0) / No(0)
    Viewed 834 Times 5 Comments
  • 3. How do Wir Shetland plan to achieve autonomy?
     

    The current preferred route to achieve autonomy is to first build local support for the idea, both directly and through engaging with existing parties and politicians. Once a significant proportion of the local population can be shown to agree with our aims we shall lobby the UK Government for a referendum granting us British Overseas Territory status or similar. If we cannot gain the support of local parties and politicians but we have the support of the electorate then we will consider forming a political party to press our aims.

    Autonomy can be made to happen by Wir Shetland attracting a large membership and we are already neck and neck with the largest Shetland political party (SNP) after only a month in existence. When we are established as a major political force (500 to 1000 members) in Shetland, we shall begin to lobby politicians, starting with local MP/MSP, parties and candidates and progress from there to government.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(1) / No(0)
    Viewed 862 Times 10 Comments
  • 4. Where will the money come from?
     

    Economic data on Shetland is not generally available separate from the rest of Scotland, but the SIC’s Shetland Input-Output Study/Regional Accounts 2010-2011, is a 7-yearly in-depth study of the Shetland economy. The most recent study reported a balance of trade surplus of £130 million (2010-11) and some crude but very conservative calculations indicate the new government would enjoy well over £150 million pa more revenue than the SIC has now.
    These figures are based on personal and business taxes, VAT, Rates, etc raised on Shetland.

    The deeper the Scottish government cuts funding, the greater would be the benefit of autonomy.

    With the significant marine resources on our doorstep we would benefit from taxation of the oil and gas industry and its employees, as well as increased tax from an expanded fishing industry and the sale of fishing licences to vessels from other jurisdictions.

    The economic data that is available indicates that Shetland is more than capable of financing it's own government.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(2) / No(1)
    Viewed 1157 Times 35 Comments
  • 5. What will happen to our defence?
     

    We are campaigning for British Overseas Territory - or similar - status, meaning we would remain associated with a larger power, currently, the UK.

    The protecting power would be responsible for defence and as the UK is a member of NATO we will continue to be part of that alliance.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(1) / No(0)
    Viewed 901 Times 9 Comments
  • 6. What will happen to the education system?
     

    Education will continue, initially, pretty much as now except that there will be true local accountability via the Shetland government who will determine and manage such changes as may be necessary to enable the provision of a high quality education for our young people in the longer term.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(0) / No(1)
    Viewed 885 Times 11 Comments
  • 7. What will happen to the NHS?
     

    Our health service will continue to be provided as now, except contracted from the NHS with true local accountability via the Shetland government i.e. led by an elected government minister, accountable to parliament. Future changes to the service will be the responsibility of the Shetland government, according to the wishes of the Shetland people.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(2) / No(1)
    Viewed 1099 Times 21 Comments
  • 8. What will happen to our transport links? External and internal.
     

    This would be up to the future Government. Said Government could set policy as they see fit without external interference. Major projects such as fixed links could be decided by local referendum in line with residents’ wishes.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(0) / No(0)
    Viewed 687 Times 2 Comments
  • 1. What will our relationship be with the EU?
     

    This will depend on a number of factors but Shetland would have the freedom to leave the EU. The current set up is damaging for Shetland and should be changed. If we have British Overseas Territory status with the UK, and the UK remains in the EU, then we could retain free trade and movement of labour with the EU. An example of this is Faroe and Denmark, Faroe is not in the EU so is exempt from policies such as the CFP but has access to EU markets and labour via Denmark's membership.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(1) / No(0)
    Viewed 876 Times 9 Comments
  • 2. What will happen to the CFP/fishing industry?
     

    Wir Shetland believe the current system is morally wrong, the dumping of perfectly good fish must be halted.

    We are campaigning for the power to control our own fishing grounds and end the reign of the CFP in Shetland waters which would mean leaving the EU. We believe this to be necessary for the good of Shetland.

    Wir Shetland are committed to the principal that the waters around Shetland should be controlled by Shetland for Shetland.

    In order to achieve an outcome that is both workable and equitable Wir Shetland are committed to consulting with industry bodies, individual skippers, owners, and crew.

    Wir Shetland recognise that the EU and UK governments do not have a good record when it comes to consultations with the fishing industry and that conditions/stocks can change quickly. Any solution implemented by an autonomous Shetland must be representative and responsive to both the requirements of industry and stocks.

    What will finally happen to the CFP and the fishing industry will be up to the people of Shetland via the democratically elected government, backed by a referendum if leaving the EU. However, Wir Shetland believe that all marine resources around Shetland should be, by law, the property of the Shetland people, managed responsibly to optimise the socio-economic benefits to Shetland, overall.

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(3) / No(2)
    Viewed 906 Times 4 Comments
  • 3. Will we lose access to EU markets and other benefits like free movement of labour and capital?‬
     

    No. Britain is a member of the EU and if, as a British Overseas Territory, we left the EU, we would still be entitled to the above benefits via the UK.‬

    Of course, we would lose access to EU grants, some of which have been stopped already because the EU has judged we do not need assistance in the affected fields - nothing is guaranteed to last forever.

    Somebody has to pay for EU grants and of course, it's the taxpayer. As we would no longer be paying tax to the EU (via the UK), that money would be available for grants from the Shetland government, as would some of the moneys from the additional revenue from fishing and oil and gas.‬

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(1) / No(0)
    Viewed 127 Times No Comments
  • 4. What will happen to Shetland agriculture?
     

    Agriculture will continue to be a key industry that will require continuing subsidy to achieve the aims of the Shetland people.

    Somebody has to pay for EU grants and of course, it's the taxpayer. As we would no longer be paying tax to the EU (via the UK), that money would be available for grants from the Shetland government, as would some of the moneys from the additional revenue from fishing and oil and gas.‬

    More
    Was this answer helpful ? Yes(3) / No(0)
    Viewed 982 Times 40 Comments