Shetland could scupper Alex Salmond’s vision for an independent Scotland, according to a former chief executive of the islands’ council.
David Clark said the first minister was right when he argued that the economics of an independent Scotland were sound – but only if Shetland remained in Scotland.
Mr Clark, who left the council with a £285,000 golden handshake after just nine months in office, accused Mr Salmond of eyeing “greedily” Shetland’s oil wealth.
He said: “Salmond arrogantly bases his economic case for independence on the assumption that Shetland will not seek its own future outwith Scotland. Historic evidence suggest otherwise.”
Mr Clark, who now lives in Lanarkshire, said: “Imagine Shetland seeks identical constitutional terms as the Falkland Islands. Salmond’s independent economic case would come crashing down in an instant.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Shetland is an important and valued part of Scotland and that will remain the case in an independent Scotland, which offers the prospect of more autonomy for the islands.
“The Scottish Government is committed to maximising and sharing the benefits from all of Scotland’s huge energy resources with the whole country. That includes a share of benefits for communities. We want to see Lerwick, for example, play a leading role in decommissioning oil rigs, and we are working closely together to push for development of sub-sea cable links to the islands and to address the issue of the high transmission charges faced by developers.”