Queen Margrethe II of Denmark revives claim of right under 500 year old Udal Law to reclaim sovereignty of Shetland and Orkney Isles.
By Ilaf Maheedaf
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland will have to hand back Shetland and Orkney according to Denmark’s British Ambassador.
In partnership with Norway’s King Harald V, the Danish regent Queen Margrethe II intends reviving the ancient rites of Udal Law which were ratified by the Scottish parliament in 1567.
According to Udal law, the Scottish parliament is legally bound to return the islands to Norway upon repayment of the Kalmar Union dowry following the betrothal of Margaret of Denmark to King James III of Scotland in 1468.
The Danish Queen claims to have in her possession authenticated copies of the 1575-7 Orkney & Shetland Lawbooks which allow the islands to revert to their previous territorial possession under the Kalmar Union.
Every copy of these books were believed destroyed by an agent of the Scottish crown, Patrick Stuart, around 1579.
But acclaimed Danish historian Olaf Gerritupyeson discovered copies of the books in the Soviet wartime archives in Moscow.
He believes the Nazis looted the historical lawbooks after the occupation of Denmark by the Wehrmacht in 1940.
Under the auspice of Udal law the Orkneys and Shetlands will revert back to Denmark and Norway on the repayment of the dowry believed to be around 10,000 Kroner.
It has been calculated that, due to interest rates and inflation, the figure could be as high as $3.7 billion dollars.
Norwegian Finance Minister Sigbjørn Jahnsen has already tabled a motion in Norways’s parliament seeking permission to use monies from Norway’s Oil Fund on behalf of the Norwegian and Danish governments.
He said: “This could be one of the most lucrative and ethical investments we make with our Investment Fund monies.”
Controversially, historian David Starkey helped verify the authenticity of the lawbooks and the constitutional legality of the dowry repayments.
He said: “There is no doubting the wording of the laws contained in these ratified lawbooks. Should Denmark or Norway make the requisite dowry repayment, Scotland must return the sovereign territories – they have no right over the islands in any type of constitutional law.
“The only contentious issue appears to be just how much the 10,000 Kroner would be worth in today’s currency.”
Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslip said: “We are currently seeking alternative views on the legal implications of these laws.
“The Scottish government is sure they wouldn’t stand up to the rigours of modern International advocacy.”