News in Scotland - Friday

Ed Miliband is under growing pressure to hold a referendum on the UK's
membership of the EU - a policy which would have political implications
on Scotland's independence referendum

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday 

Scottish independence: Pressure on UK Labour to hold EU referendum

The prospect of Scotland being forced to leave the European Union (EU) should Scots vote 'no' to independence next year has grown as pressure is heaped on Labour leader Ed Miliband to hold an 'in-out' referendum on the EU should the party win the next UK general election. There is growing pressure from within Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet to announce a policy U-turn on Europe in order to seize the political initiative back from the Tories. One option being circulated is to pressurise David Cameron into holding the referendum in 2014 just months after Scotland's independence referendum next September. Should Miliband use this issue to relaunch his leadership after being accused of indecision and drift, the initiative in the Scottish referendum campaign over remaining within the EU will shift to the 'yes' campaign which will argue it alone offers an assurance that Scotland will remain an EU member.

Scottish independence: We will struggle to be impartial, warns BBC

The BBC's director general has warned that the public broadcaster will struggle to remain impartial over its Scottish independence referendum campaign coverage. A key challenge for journalists argued Lord Hall is that they must inform the UK electorate about the issues for and against as well as the voters in Scotland. Addressing delegates at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Hall insisted that the BBC had put in extra resources so that the campaign received high quality coverage.

More Scottish news:


Westminster to pump more taxpayers' money into Trident

The UK government is pumping more taxpayers pounds into the Fastlane submarine base to the tune of £31.5mn. The controversial base houses Britain's Trident nuclear weapons' system which will soon be replaced despite 80 percent of Scots being against replacement according to a recent poll. Defence minister Dr Andrew Murrison has claimed that: "This is a big vote of confidence in Faslane and the future of British armed forces there." Dr Murrison argues that the Scottish government cannot expect to be automatically accepted as a NATO member should Scotland become independent if it has continued territorial disputes (in relation to housing Trident on the Clyde) with an alliance member. The SNP favours NATO membership however Ireland is not a member of NATO. 

Revealed: UK runs secret internet-monitoring station

It is being reported in The Independent that Britain operates a secret £1bn internet-monitoring station in the Middle East which intercepts and processes emails, phone calls and internet traffic across the region on behalf of Western intelligence organisations. The information, claims the newspaper, is harvested by accessing underwater fibre-optic cables which pass across the entire region. The data is then passed to Britain's intelligence services and shared with the controversial US National Security Agency NSA. The Independent has not revealed the whereabouts of the station however the revelation came to the outlet via information passed to it by Edward Snowdon. The UK government reportedly claims the station is central to the "war on terror". Recently, GCHQ experts oversaw the destruction of hardware holding data received from Mr Snowdon at offices belonging to The Guardian newspaper. The revelation comes after David Miranda - partner of the journalist who covered the Snowdon leaks Glenn Greenwald - was held at Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws. The legality of his detention is expected to be challenged.

American, Israeli and Jordanian troops have entered Syria, Le Figaro reports

An unconfirmed report in France's second largest newspaper Le Figaro says that US, Israeli and Jordanian commandoes along with CIA agents have been inside Syria since around August 17 supervising insurgents and moving nearer to Damascus. The move comes after claims widely reported in the west that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons during the conflict. Both the UN and Russia recently dismissed evidence from the US that the government had used chemical weapons. Russia has warned that their intelligence shows the latest alleged chemical attack came from a region controlled by the insurgents. The development comes after a series of military setbacks suffered by the insurgents who have been supported by the US and its western allies.


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published this page in News 2013-08-23 12:48:42 +0100