AN independent Scotland would be a great fit for the Nordic Council, according to an article published in a Nordic news site.

Writing in the Helsinki Times, Anthony Heron said Scotland must start to consider its place in the world outside of the UK – and suggested that could mean closer ties with Nordic countries.

The column noted the apparent support from Finnish MP Miko Karna on Scottish independence and for the country to obtain observer status in the Nordic Council.

The MP said: “I am confident, you will vote for independence soon after [the] pandemic is over.

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"In the meantime, I will launch an initiative to Nordic Council: we will ask Scotland to join [the] council as an observer."

The Nordic Council, established in 1952, lists one of its main aims to make northern Europe a place where “people want to live and work in”.

Heron, a freelance journalist, said the close historic links between Scotland and Nordic countries are evident in Scotland are among the reasons an independent Scotland should seek closer ties with its neighbours across the North Sea.

The journalist argued Scotland is already closer to Nordic identity than it is to the UK in several ways, including its support for a strong welfare state.

“The Scandinavian nations have played a significant role in Scotland’s history, with traces of old Norse language still evident in Scotland’s islands,” he said.

“Modern Scotland is arguably more like the Nordic nations than it is the rest of the United Kingdom. “Having shunned the conservative party almost entirely for a large period, Scotland has favoured many elements that are central to the identity of Nordic politics such as a robust welfare system.”

In its 2021 manifesto, the SNP pledged to expand Scotland's international network and establish "new innovations and investment hubs for the nordic and baltic regions".

Heron said Scotland forging closer ties with Nordic countries would have several benefits, including working together to battle the climate crisis.

He said: “If COP-26 has proven anything it is that an international effort is required to tackle environmental issues.

“With a wealth of cleaner sourced energy such as geothermal stations, Nordic nations could work with Scotland to build a greener future.”

It’s not the first time closer ties with Nordic countries has been suggested, with Angus Robertson, Scotland’s Constitution Secretary in October saying Scotland could provide a bridge between the UK in Scandanavia in a post-independence world.

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Education and research could also be an important area for an independent Scotland to work with Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland, Heron added.

Noting that Edinburgh University is one of merely two in the entire UK to offer Nordic studies degrees, more work in this field could encourage Nordic citizens to take up jobs in Scotland.

“It is important that countries deeply consider their potential relations with an independent Scotland if another referendum is to take place,” he said.

“Scotland may need to build strong international ties soon and forming relationships with Nordic states through the council would be mutually beneficial.”