Shetlanders flirt with going it alone
Of all the ramifications of the Brexit vote, the fate of the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic and their oil fields and fisheries may not top the list for negotiators in London and Brussels.
But the prospect of a new bid for Scottish independence as Britain leaves the European Union is making some residents think again about whether they would be better off alone.
“It would be wonderful,” said Andrea Manson, a Shetland councillor and a key figure in the Wir Shetland movement for greater autonomy.
The movement’s name means “Our Shetland” in the local Scots dialect, a derivation of Middle English which has replaced the islands’ original Germanic language, Norn.
The remote archipelago, already fiercely independent in spirit, is geographically and culturally closer to Scandinavia than to Edinburgh, and politically more aligned with London and Brussels.
In the past 1,300 years, Shet- land has been overrun by Scandinavian vikings, pawned to Scotland as a wedding dowry by Denmark, subsumed into the United Kingdom in 1707, and dragged into the European Economic Community against its will in 1973.
The Shetlands were the only part of Britain, along with the Western Isles of Scotland, that voted against EEC membership in a 1975 referendum.
Many Shetlanders are skeptical of Scottish separatism.
In the final tense days of the 2014 independence refer- endum, the local MP Alistair Carmichael, who was minister for Scotland at the time, said the islands could try to remain part of Britain if the rest of Scotland left.
In the end, 55 percent of Scots voted to stay in Britain. The unionist vote in the Shetlands was 63.7 percent — one of the highest levels in Scotland.
Now Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned that a second independence referendum is “highly likely” following the Brexit vote — and Shetland is once again considering its position.
“We would like control of the seabed around us, the fishing ground around us, and the freedom to get rid of some of the bureaucracy that comes down from the EU, Westminster and the Scottish parliament,” Manson said.
“Our seas are being plundered by foreign boats. We also contribute an enormous amount of money to the national economy through taxes, through the oil revenues, and yet we don’t get back our fair share.”
Scotland has around 60 percent of the EU’s oil reserves and the second-largest volume of proven natural gas reserves, most of it located around Shetland.
Maree Todd, a Scottish National Party lawmaker, said Shetland would be better off as part of an independent Scotland.
“Of course I think it is worth discussing,” she said, adding that islanders are not “entirely skeptical” about the prospect of Scottish independence.
“We want power to come back to Scotland, not just to Edinburgh but to the people of Scotland,” she said.
with ADHD were examined in the study, which found that sufferers’ brains were smaller than those without the condition.
In the latest study, Hoogman and a team analyzed the MRI scans of people aged 4 to 63.
They measured overall brain volume as well as the size of seven regions thought to be linked to the disorder.
The volume overall was smaller in people diagnosed with ADHD, as were five of the brain regions, the team said.
“These differences are very small — in the range of a few percent — so the unprecedented size of our study was crucial to help identify these,” Hoogman said.
“Similar differences in brain volume are also seen in other psychiatric disorders, especially major depressive disorder.”
In a comment on the study, Jonathan Posner of Columbia University said it was an “important contribution” to the field of ADHD science.
He said further research was needed to determine the effects of medication on the brains of people with ADHD, and how they develop.
Performers on stilts arrive for a National Flag of Canada Day ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday. The annual event is held to commemorate the inauguration of the flag in 1965.
Pedestrians walk along a street in Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. After Brexit, some residents would like to see the islands become independent.