In March Stuart Hill made the news over an attempt to prove that the Shetlands are not in fact part of the United Kingdom. Now it seems he is about to declare UDI...
Hill will pronounce that the state of Forvik has broken away from the United Kingdom, quit the EU and become a crown dependency. Hill plans to mint his own currency - in the form of solid gold coins to be called gulde - print his own stamps and raise his own flag. The grand state of Forvik is a 2.5 acre (1 Hectare) island officially known as Forewick Holm: a 25-square-metre dwelling built with polythene sheets, laminated wood, hardboard and turf, all anchored down by a fishing net to guard against the gales.
Hill first landed on Shetland seven years ago after his solo attempt to circumnavigate Britain in a homemade boat ended when it capsized west of the islands, He wants to provoke all 22,000 inhabitants of Shetland to declare independence from the UK. "I see a basic injustice that has continued for hundreds of years and has resulted in Shetland being cheated out of the oil money because the UK has appropriated the seabed without any prior right or title," he said. "It seems to me just a fraud and it's time it stopped."
His case rests on a deal struck in 1469 when the king of Denmark, King Christian, effectively pawned Shetland to the Scottish monarch King James III to raise money for his daughter's dowry. According to Hall, since the loan was never repaid and no other legal agreement signed, Shetland has remained in a constitutional limbo. "My research leads me to believe Shetland should be a crown dependency, the same as the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands," he said yesterday.
Brian Smith, a historian on Shetland and former solicitor, said: "Common sense should tell him that in the period from 1469 to the present, huge constitutional changes have taken place and, de facto, Shetlanders are part of the UK and apparently want to be. The Scandinavian kingdoms have no legal claim to Shetland, nor do they want it."