Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today written to the minister for the Cabinet Office, Steve Barclay MP, to highlight the exclusion of the Northern Isles from maps of the UK in government advertising for the “GREAT” international brand campaign.
In the adverts, seen in various locations including international airports and spotted by travellers from the isles, maps of the UK appear without Orkney or Shetland, but do include the Isle of Man, which is not part of the UK. Mr Carmichael highlighted the many vital exporting businesses in the isles, including green technology producers, which have a strong interest in being featured in such advertising.
In his letter to Mr Barclay, Mr Carmichael said:
“As the Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland it was a matter of some surprise to me that our islands were not considered to be part of the UK for advertising purposes.
“The non-inclusion of the Northern Isles within maps of the UK – official or otherwise – is a point of ongoing frustration for our communities, as we strongly believe that we are as much an integral part of this country as any other area. Indeed my colleague, former Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, campaigned successfully to ensure that no maps produced for the Scottish Government would exclude the Northern Isles or relegate them to misleading locations on the map.
“Northern Isles businesses and organisations have had remarkable success in recent years in developing world-leading marine renewables technologies, selling whisky and other spirits globally and producing outstanding food products for the world market. It would seem only reasonable that the isles should appear on UK marketing just as any other part of the UK.”