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A rural view outside Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. / Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY

An independent Scotland doesn't go far enough for some Scots.

A group petitioned the Scottish Parliament last March to be allowed - if the independence referendum passes - to hold a referendum on independence for Scotland's three main island groups: Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

Margaret Mackenzie, a press officer for the Referenda for the Islands campaign, said in e-mailed comments that the movement enjoyed strong support from as far away as Hong Kong and Venice, Italy. The Scottish Parliament rejected the petition.

"The whole thing was deeply flawed," says Jean Urquhart, an independent member of the Scottish Parliament. "Nobody even knows where they live or who they are." Mackenzie declined to reply to a request for a phone interview with USA TODAY.

Still, the question of whether the islands really should be part of Scotland persists. "All U.K. and Scottish authority in Shetland rests on the assumption that Shetland is part of Scotland, so it seems reasonable to ask when it happened," local chronicler Stuart Hill wrote in a book on Shetland's constitutional history in 2009.

"Thus far, nobody can tell me, so I'm drawn to the conclusion that it never did."



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Scottish islands seek their own independence

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