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McArthur and Scott: Northern Isles Determined to Achieve Gains from Indy Ref.
Posted on 28 August 2014

A Bill aimed at recognising and safeguarding the rights of island communities is to be introduced by Scottish Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament later this year.


Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott have today announced their intention to introduce new legislation to the Scottish Parliament after the referendum in a bid to ensure the promises that have been made to islanders during the campaign are honoured.


Tavish Scott MSP said:


"The islands have lost many powers and responsibilities since the Nationalist government took power in 2007. Police, fire, colleges and crucial transport decisions are all now taken in the central belt with little reference to the needs of the islands. Liam McArthur and I are determined to reverse this damaging approach to self-government in the islands.


"SNP Ministers have been busy making all sorts of promises in a bid to persuade islanders to vote for independence.  In most cases, however, there is nothing stopping the SNP from delivering these promises now.  I don't want to see the Nationalists backsliding after September 18th and this Bill should help make sure this doesn't happen."


Liam McArthur MSP said:


"All three island councils have made clear that their demands for change are not linked to a particular outcome in the referendum.  Yet the SNP have refused to listen, insisting that they are only interested in giving islanders what they what, if they get what they want in return.  That is not on, particularly given the centralisation of power we have seen under the nationalists over recent years.


"When Tavish Scott and I first suggested the debate about our constitutional future needed to reflect the aspirations of island communities, the SNP called us troublemakers.  At the risk of being denounced once more, we are determined to hold the SNP to the promises they have made and that is why we are bringing forward this bill."


Posted on 28 August 2014

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