A PLANNED law aimed at strengthening and protecting island communities across Scotland will face a preliminary vote at Holyrood today.

The Islands (Scotland) Bill involves a requirement to “island proof” future laws and policies.

Islands Minister Humza Yousaf hailed the “landmark” proposed legislation which would enable Scottish ministers to set up a local authority licensing scheme for development in waters around the islands.

Further measures in the Bill involve giving the Western Isles Scottish parliamentary constituency statutory protection against boundary changes.

Speaking ahead of the stage one debate, Yousaf said: “This is a landmark piece of legislation for Scotland, enshrining the interests of our unique and diverse island communities within the legislative process.”