The independence referendum due to take place next year is throwing up some unexpected consequences. The Scottish Liberal Democrat conference backed the idea of Shetland and Orkney becoming independent entities similar to the Isle of Man with their own relationship to central government in London. The two island groups are among the Liberal Democrats' strongest areas in Scotland.
Guardian report: Lib Dems call on Shetland and Orkney to become more independent | Politics | guardian.co.uk
It is true that the islands have always been more distinct than the rest of Scotland than, for example, the Hebrides. The idea of the Hebrides separating is simply unthinkable - they are obviously more Scottish than Shetland. The defection of Shetland and Orkney would be a huge blow to the Scottish independence campaign, given that they would obviously have a claim on much of the North Sea mineral wealth currently claimed by Scotland.
Interesting times ahead!