Could islands split from Scotland?

March 21, 2012 at 1:49 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 21 (UPI) -- A leader of the Scottish National Party said Tuesday the Orkney and Shetland islands should have the option of staying in Britain if most islanders want that.

Angus MacNeil, a member of the Westminster Parliament representing Scotland's Western Isles, told the BBC that would deprive an independent Scotland of oil revenues from areas in Shetland and Orkneys waters, The Daily Telegraph reported. He said that, regardless of whether the rest of Scotland votes for independence,

"a big enough drive for self-determination" should allow the northern islands to remain in the United Kingdom.

Both island groups became part of Scotland in 1468, when they were pledged as security for the dowry of Margaret, daughter of the king of Denmark, who married James III.

The islands could negotiate a deal in which they go with an independent Scotland in return for a larger share of oil revenue, the report said.

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