In this photo taken March 14, 2014, locals dressed as Vikings carry torches as they take part in the annual Up Helly Aa, Viking fire festival in Gulberwick, Shetland Islands north of mainland Scotland. (AP Photo/Jill Lawless)
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As the battle over Scottish independence heats up, residents of three groups of remote Scottish islands, some of which straddle oil and gas fields northeast of Britain, are calling for their own breakaway votes and greater autonomy.Islanders from Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have lodged a petition with the Scottish parliament asking for a vote on Sept. 25, a week after a referendum on whether Scotland should sever its ties with the United Kingdom after 307 years.Local councils in the three island groups have also launched a campaign called "Our Islands, Our Future" to seek more powers after the Sept. 18 vote, whatever the result, which could include control of the seabed around the islands.A spokeswoman for the Scottish parliament said more than 620 people had signed the petition since it was launched March 20 .
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