The Faroe Islands: Possible Lessons for Scotland in a New Post-Brexit Devolution Settlement

Jacques Hartmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the 2016 EU referendum, the Scottish people voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. In a subsequent paper – Scotland’s Place in Europe – the Scottish Government considered options for retaining key benefits of EU membership even if the rest of the UK left the EU and the single market. The paper recognises that a range of differentiated arrangements within the EU and single market framework already exist and, inter alia, uses the Kingdom of Denmark (consisting of Denmark, The Faroe Islands – hereafter the ‘Faroes’– and Greenland) as an example of a unitary state where parts of the country (Denmark) are in the EU, while others (the Faroes and Greenland) are not. The ‘reverse Greenland’ option, whereby Scotland would take on the UK’s existing EU membership while the rest of the UK would leave the EU, has already received some scholarly attention. This article argues that more interesting inferences may be drawn from the experience of the Faroes which, though outside the EU, have established extensive relations with it. The article suggests that there are no international or EU law obstacles for Scotland to follow a similar path, and unilaterally negotiate a special relationship with the EU after Brexit.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Faroe Islands
  • Denmark
  • Scotland
  • EU
  • Brexit
  • International law
  • International personallity
  • Sub-state enteties


Dive into the research topics of 'The Faroe Islands: Possible Lessons for Scotland in a New Post-Brexit Devolution Settlement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this