The Norweigan government has declined to get involved in Orkney’s possible return to Scandinavia, saying it was a “constitutional” matter for Britain,

Oslo’s unwillingness to take a stance on Kirkwall’s future came as Downing Street waded into the row. 

No 10 said the islands were “stronger” as part of the UK. 

READ MORE: Orkney mulls return to Norwegian ownership

Councillors on the islands will today debate a motion from authority leader James Stockan calling for a review into how Orkney is governed. 

It suggests they could look along the lines of becoming a crown dependency, such as Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, or possibly even consider rejoining Norway.

Orkney was under Norwegian and Danish control until 1472 when they were handed to James III of Scotland after the Scandinavians failed to pay the balance on the dowry for his marriage to Margaret of Denmark.

READ MORE: Why Norway is not really going to return to Orkney

Councillor Stockan told the BBC: “We were part of the Norse kingdom for much longer than we were part of the United Kingdom.

“On the street in Orkney people come up and say to me, ‘when are we going to pay back the dowry, when are we going back to Norway?’

“There is a huge affinity and a huge, deep cultural relationship there.

“This is exactly the moment to explore what is possible.”

READ MORE: Orkney crowned best rural place to live....again

Speaking to The Herald, the Norweigan embassy in London said: “This is a domestic and constitutional British matter. We have no view regarding this motion.”

Asked about the motion during Monday’s press conference, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “First and foremost, there is no mechanism for the conferral of crown dependency or overseas territory status on any part of the UK.

“But fundamentally, we are stronger as one United Kingdom, we have no plans to change that.”

The spokesman added: “We’ve got no plans to change the devolution settlement.”

They added that Orkney was already being supported with £50 million through the islands growth deal.

READ MORE: Orkney independence firmly ruled out by UK government

Councillor Stockan’s motion states that “due to historical and contemporary challenges” over funding, “Orkney Islands Council should now explore options for alternative models of governance that provide greater fiscal security and economic opportunity”.

It goes on to say that should include looking at “Nordic connections, crown dependencies and other options for greater subsidiarity and autonomy to be presented to the community for consideration”.