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  1. National

SNP: Govt report shows 'breathtaking arrogance'

The government is making its case against Scottish Independence today.

David Cameron is releasing the first in a series of reports, highlighting how the UK and Scotland benefit from the union.

Speaking in an ITV Daybreak interview Stuart Maxwell from the Scottish National Party said the UK Government's report today showed a "breathtaking arrogance" over their "supposed" recognition of Scotland as an equal partner.

  1. National

Scotland would have to 're-negotiate' world relations

Advice on what will happen to Scotland if it became independent from the UK will be published today.

A summary of the report, issued from Downing Street ahead of the publication, revealed that it was an "unusual step" for the Government to publish full legal opinion from experts.

If Scotland became independent, only the remainder of the UK would automatically continue to exercise the same rights, obligations and powers under international law as the UK currently does, and would not have to re-negotiate existing treaties or re-apply for membership of international organisations.

– Government issued summary of the report on Scottish independence


  1. National

Scotland warned against independence from UK

The UK Government will today reveal the advice it has been given on what would happen if Scotland became independent from the rest of the UK.

According to Professors James Crawford and Alan Boyle, who set out their opinions in the paper, Scotland would be treated as a new country, having to renegotiate its relationship with world bodies.

Two men wave a Union and Saltire flags in Edinburgh, Scotland Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive

The Scottish Government issued a paper last week, which assuming a Yes vote occurred in autumn 2014, could see negotiations between Scottish ministers and the UK Government, EU and international organisations concluded by March 2016.

Today's publication does not include specific advice from the European Commission on the implications of Scottish independence in the EU.

  1. National

David Cameron launches defence of United Kingdom

David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron has launched a defence of the United Kingdom as his government prepares to put the "facts" about Scottish independence to the public.

While people in Scotland will make the decision in autumn next year, the implications will have obvious impacts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Conservative leader said.

"Britain is admired around the world as a source of prosperity, power and security," he said.

"Those glorious Olympics last summer reminded us just what we were capable of when we pull together: Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish, all in the same boat - sometimes literally.

"If you told many people watching those Olympics around the world that we were going to erect barriers between our people, they'd probably be baffled. Put simply: Britain works. Britain works well. Why break it?"

Cameron spoke out one day before the government publishes the first in a series of analysis papers about Scotland's role in the union.

Scottish Government announces ban on tobacco display and vending machines

Tobacco displays and vending machine sales will be banned in Scotland from 29th April, the Scottish Government has announced.

The laws will initially prevent large shops from openly displaying tobacco and will prohibit tobacco sales from self-service vending machines.

The announcement follows the defeat of a legal challenge by one of the world's biggest tobacco firms last December.

The same ban, which is set out in the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010, will come into force for smaller retailers on 6th April 2015.

"We know that reducing the number of people that smoke will have wide benefits for Scotland's health and evidence shows that these bans will help prevent young people from taking up smoking.

"I am delighted that we are now in a position to implement these bans, which is a key step in maintaining Scotland's position as a world leader on tobacco control.

"We appreciate that smaller retailers need extra time to make the necessary changes and so we have decided that April 2015 represents a fair timescale for implementing the display ban for them."

– Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health

Appeal for new ambulance station in Borders

The Scottish Ambulance service are making an appeal to the Scottish Government, after plans for a new ambulance station at the Borders General Hospital were rejected.

The ambulance service want to replace the old depot in Galashiels with a new facility near the hospital in Melrose.

However, councillors rejected the plans due to 'landscaping' concerns, as they were worried the possible felling of trees would affect the scenic landscape of the Eildon hills.

Campaigners say that the new site would improve ambulance response times, which are below the current government target.


Dumfriesshire MSP welcomes road improvements

Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said she is 'relieved' that the Scottish Government is investing 36 million pounds to improve the safety of roads in the south of Scotland.

Major improvement works will take place on the A77 Symington to Bogend Toll, A75 Dunragit Bypass and the A75 Hardgrove to Kinmount.

“I am relieved that the Scottish Government are finally investing in roads south of the central belt.

"For too long there have been accidents and fatalities on these roads, and I have long campaigned for an upgrade to allow substantial overtaking opportunities.

“With the work scheduled to finish in 2014, it is imperative that the Scottish Government start progress soon, and work to the timetabled programme to ensure there are no further delays.”

– Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray

Borders MP slams independence paper

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, a Borders MP, has accused the Scottish Government of creating a distraction from the bigger issues.

"Once again, they are devoting their energy to the picture-frame when they don't have a painting to put in it.

"We have not even got a date for the referendum, let alone any detail on what independence would mean for people in areas like the economy, welfare, energy and financial services.

"We have already been setting out our views in public on the issue of the post-referendum process.

"We will spell out further thoughts on this process in our forthcoming analysis papers, including our first paper, in February."

– Scottish Secretary of State, Michael Moore

Independence report to 'pressure UK Government'

The SNP say the paper puts pressure on the UK Government to open talks about the transition process before the vote in 2014.

"Today's paper provides the people of Scotland with a clear road map as to how Scotland would make the journey from a devolved system of government with the levers of power retained at Westminster, to a nation in which the powers of our national Parliament are complete and in which the people are sovereign."

– Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

SNP says 'Independence Day' will come in March 2016

The Saltire Credit: PA

Plans for Scotland's "Independence Day" have been published by the Scottish Government.

In a paper out today (5th February), Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlines a timetable for what will happen following the referendum in 2014.

The Scottish National Party have made predictions that Scotland will become independent in March 2016 and elections to an independent parliament will take place in May 2016.

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