Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has received unanimous backing of the party's National Council (Saturday 7th June) for exploring formal links between Scotland and the Nordic Council.
The resolution promoted by Cromarty Firth Branch, of which Mr Gibson is convener, received strong backing from SNP MEP Alyn Smith who told the delegates how Scotland's economic interests coincide with Norway, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland. He said that our fishing, energy and transport needs were best served by cooperation to win the best markets in Europe and beyond.
Rob Gibson stressed the urgent need for detailed plans for an electricity grid that could feed into a vast European market.
"Iceland and Norway along with Scotland can build the super grid necessary to export the surpluses of our clean power into the hungry European markets."
"Also there is a need to maintain shipping routes to the continent. This could be rescued by Norwegian firms who could replace the threatened Superfast service from Rosyth to Zeebrugge. Norwegian shipping interests could link Iceland, Norway and Scotland to the Flemish port again. Our mutual trade at present is represented by the sole direct service to our northern neighbours in the form of the 'Norrona' run by the Smyril Line from Scrabster to Norway and Iceland."
"Scotland and the Nordic countries have a long colourful history which has had benefits for the area we now call the Arc of Prosperity. It is time to start a new chapter in that history and start working closer together for our mutual benefit."