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The Pursuit of Happiness

Imagine a country with no taxes, no crime, and no army.

It sounds like a paradise, but there are a few drawbacks.

First of all, most of the population consists of sheep, in keeping with its name, which translates as the Island of the Bay of Sheep.

On top of that, you’d have to put up with the weather, the near-polar extremes of the north Atlantic off Scotland.

And if you’re Irish, you might balk at having to recognise Queen Elizabeth II as your head of state.

If you can put up with all that though, you can apply for citizenship of Forvik, the world’s newest nation as of last Saturday.

Stuart Hill, the owner of the one hectare island off the Shetlands, declared independence from the United Kingdom and the EU at the weekend, based on his interpretation of ancient deeds dating to the reign of James III as King of Scots.

To date, it is not clear how the EU will react to this latest blow to its expansion hopes, coming so soon after the Irish rejected the Lisbon treaty.

But for those of you looking for a new start, citizenship costs a mere one forvik gulde.