Independence and oil: A slippery business

Our Political Editor looks to the North East of Scotland where the Prime Minster and First Minister have been discussing the future of oil.

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BoE Governor talks on Scotland retaining the pound

Scotland's First Minister will have face-to-face talks with the latest Bank of England governor for the first time today. Alex Salmond and Mark Carney are due to meet in Edinburgh.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Credit: Dylan Martinez/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Carney is also giving a speech in the capital, in which the issue of a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK will be addressed.

Mr Salmond's Scottish Government has put forward plans for Scotland to retain the pound if the country votes for independence in September's referendum, establishing a "sterling zone" with the UK.

Alex Salmond would stand for election again after independence

Alex Salmond told Representing Border he would stand for election again and serve a full term as First Minister of Scotland, should his party win their campaign for independence.

He gave his first major interview of the year to Peter MacMahon, ITV Border's Political Editor.

Watch the full interview below.

Missed the first episode of Representing Border? Watch the full programme by clicking on this link.


Flags at half mast outside Scottish Government HQ


South African flag flying at half-mast alongside the Saltire outside Scottish Government headquarters


First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The death of Nelson Mandela marks the passing of a great statesman and a global icon, so it is only appropriate that we here in Scotland, a land Mr Mandela had great affinity with, mark his passing appropriately.

“That is why I have today instructed that the South African national flag should fly at half-mast alongside the Saltire outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh.

“The whole world is marking the loss of a great leader – all of Scotland feels that loss, and we join the people of South Africa in particular in marking Mr Mandela’s passing.”

White Paper is setting out "plans for the future"

Speaking ahead of the White Paper launch, First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“We are setting out a positive plan for job opportunities and economic growth based on Scotland’s vast natural resources, key growth sectors and human talent.

“The Scottish Government is setting out plans for the future, and we will seek to engage the whole Scottish population in a debate about how to build a better Scotland.

“We will set out a series of reasonable proposals and ask people to judge for themselves this common-sense approach.

“The white paper will detail how Scotland’s public finances are healthier than the UK’s and will show that we have raised more in tax per head than the UK as a whole for every one of the last 30 years.

“As well as demonstrating these firm foundations, the white paper will put the focus of the referendum campaign firmly on Scotland’s future and the issues that matters most to people - jobs, economic growth and security.

“It will make the economic, social and democratic case for independence and show that the better Scotland we all seek can only be achieved by putting the decisions about Scotland’s future in the hands of the people of Scotland.

“Everyone in Scotland should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and to make a contribution to our society. This white paper will show that with the powers of independence we can and will grow our economy, boost our population, and ensure everyone in Scotland benefits from our wealth."

– First Minister Alex Salmond


Salmond to deliver keynote speech to Conference

Alex Salmond
The First Minister will deliver his speech in Perth on Saturday Credit: PA

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond will use his keynote speech at SNP Conference to say that a Yes vote in next year’s independence referendum will be “an act of national self-confidence and self-belief”.

The SNP leader will argue that the devolved Scottish Parliament has delivered a “taste of independence” with policies to make Scotland a better and fairer country. Mr Salmond will say:

“A Yes vote is not about a victory for the SNP, or even a victory for the Yes campaign – or even the huge coalition of interests and enthusiasm that supports a Yes vote. be, above all, an act of national self-confidence and self - belief.''

“The case for independence is about what is best for people in Scotland wherever they come from. It is about who should be taking decisions about Scotland: those who live here or politicians at Westminster.

“This central question of who should be taking decisions is not an academic argument. It is a common sense argument based on our experience. "

Independent Scotland would bring "real and lasting cut in Scottish energy bills"

Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, has told the SNP conference that an Independent Scotland would bring about a "real and lasting cut in Scottish energy bills."

"I can announce today that an SNP government in an independent Scotland will remove the cost of energy saving measures and the warm home discount from energy bills. We will provide that funding from central government resources.

"That will mean direct government funding for fuel poverty schemes of at least £200 million per year.

"That money will be spent in a fully joined up way, on schemes designed in Scotland to meet Scottish circumstances.

"And this won't just allow us to deliver our energy efficiency schemes more effectively. It will also save hard-pressed consumers money.

"We estimate that it will cut energy bills by around 5% - or £70 a year.

"Not a short term measure - but a real and lasting cut in Scottish energy bills."

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