Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has proposed that the Faroese Government should participate in an islands summit with Scotland’s three island councils, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland.
The idea emerged at a meeting at Westminster between Mr MacNeil and representatives of the Faroese Government.
Mr MacNeil said: “The Scottish Islands have much in common with the Faroe Islands such as fishing and tourism.
“I recently met with representatives of the Faroese Government who expressed their wish to participate in an islands summit in Stornoway with the three island councils, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland. I have therefore written to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to ask if they would be willing to accommodate this request from our Faroese neighbours.”
Meanwhile, Mr MacNeil says the UK Government have ‘let the islands down’ as they have failed to commit to crucial support for island based renewable projects.
He said that despite repeated attempts by himself; Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland; and the island councils to get answers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on future support, there is still no clear policy from the UK Government.
Mr MacNeil said: “I have repeatedly questioned DECC on when they will submit the application for approval of the European Commission’s state aid for a scheme which will ensure island renewable projects are eligible for a Contract for Difference (CfD). This would help to make community projects feasible in terms of security of revenues.
“Despite those efforts they have refused to take any formal action.
“This week in giving evidence to the House of Commons Committee of Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State, Andrea Leadsom MP said she would not submit the application until a policy decision was taken. The stark reality of this is that by the time a policy decision is made, it may be too late to gain approval for the formal application in time for the CfD auction.
“I have major concerns about what the implications of this will be for island based projects. These concerns are shared by island councils and the MP for Orkney and Shetland.”