Scotland’s islands are special. They are beautiful and diverse, enjoying rich histories, healthy economies and immense prospects for future growth. In July 2013, as part of Scotland’s journey toward independence, the First Minister established the Island Areas Ministerial Working Group and set out the Lerwick Declaration.
We believe that the people who live and work in Scotland are best placed to make decisions about our future – the essence of self-determination; therefore we support subsidiarity and local decision making.
The proposals set out in Empowering Scotland’s Island Communities have been identified by the Group as reflecting the clearest opportunities available to the Island Areas at this time. The Group developed these proposals based on the underpinning objectives of promoting islands voice, harnessing island resources and enhancing islands wellbeing.
The Scottish Government is committed to implement all the measures described in this prospectus upon the transfer of powers that independence would deliver, subject to formal consultation arrangements and, where legislation is required, the scrutiny and will of the Scottish Parliament.