Shock to UK political establishment as Ukip record stunning breakthrough
raising the prospect of the UK exiting the EU whether Scotland wants to
leave or not
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Independence: England moves closer to exiting EU after stunning Ukip results
The chances of Scotland remaining inside the European Union (EU) if Scots vote 'no' in next year's independence referendum have nose-dived after stunning election results for the United Kingdom Independence Party south of the Border. The party, which believes in taking the UK out of the EU recorded second place in a parliamentary by-election behind Labour while the Tories and the LibDems received a drubbing at the hands of the electors of South Shields. The party, led by Nigel Farage, also recorded huge gains in the popular vote (25 percent) in council elections, becoming the opposition party in Lincolnshire while the Tories lost control of the authority. With Ukip threatening to take a large number of Conservative votes at the next Westminster election, there will be increasing pressure on the Tory party to bring forward an in-out referendum on EU membership and find a leader who believes in an EU exit. The results show however that Ukip have taken votes from all UK parties and the result is being viewed as a shock to the UK’s political establishment.
Independent currency debate hots up
An economist has claimed that launching an independent currency might lead to a bank run. Dr Angus Armstrong, the director of macroeconomic research at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, claimed that Scottish savers will ask themselves: “Do you think the Scottish pound would be lower than the UK pound?” and if they thought the answer was 'yes' then they would clamour to move savings into banks south of the Border. Mr Armstrong did not address the more likely situation that the Scottish pound would become stronger than the English pound given England's larger per capita debt load and Scotland's stronger position in relation to its energy reserves. In this event there would be a clamour out of sterling south of the Border. The argument strengthens the case for examining the option of Scots using a parallel currency. Sterling for UK-wide transactions and Scottish pounds for domestic Scottish transactions. Another possible outcome is that as Westminster loses oil and gas revenues, the pound will crash leaving Scottish savers devastated.
More Scottish news:
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- Scottish independence: UK downgrade means promised 'recovery' is like Waiting for Godot
- Scots go hungry to maintain London’s global status
SNP hit back at Alexander over 'vicious' claims
Labour MP Douglas Alexander will claim that the independence campaign is "bitter" and that it is time for "vision, not viciousness", however he seems set to claim it's down to the SNP. The SNP responded saying: “We agree with Douglas Alexander - denigration of people has no place in the referendum debate, it doesn't matter whether those doing it support Yes or No. It’s a matter of public record that Nicola Sturgeon has been sent death threats on Twitter, a posting on the No campaign’s Facebook page talked about firing bullets into SNP leaders, appalling remarks about Alex Salmond's dad were made on a Labour Party website, and the abuse directed at Susan Calman was disgraceful." The atmosphere surrounding the campaign appears to have hit new lows after the 'no' campaign refused to return a donation which was given to it by Ian Taylor of oil firm Vitol - who it was reported had given money to a Serbian war criminal. Key Vitol executives, it transpires, have shareholding in Dart Energy, a company which was granted licences to frack in Scotland's Forth Valley. Douglas Alexander had previously called for a donation given by Mr Taylor to the Conservative Party to be returned but has not commented on his donation to Better Together.
Pilot logs near collision with UFO above Glasgow
A passenger aircraft above Glasgow narrowly missed a collision with a UFO, according to a report by the UK Airprox Board. In what were clear conditions in early December an alarmed Airbus A320 pilot alerted air traffic controllers to 'something' which passed 300-400 feet beneath his plane. The object, logged as a 'high' collision risk did not appear on the radar. Investigators were unable to establish what the object - described by the pilot as large, "blue and yellow" - might have been.
UK crisis: latest financial fraud revelations cast more doubt on RBS profits
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has apparently posted pre-tax profits of £826mn for the first three months of 2013. The bank which is 81 percent state-owned is now implicated in new investigations of massive fraud in relation to the ISDAfix scam. Regulators are investigating whether or not a group of brokers at ICAP in London may have colluded with up to 15 of the world's largest banks, including RBS to manipulate ISDAfix - a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps. The ISDAfix market is global and estimated to be worth $379tn. The bank accepted fines for its role in the Libor scandal which impacted on consumers with credit cards, mortgages and loans in a global market worth £500tn. The latest revelations come after the Bank of England (BoE) warned that UK banks required to plug a £25bn capital hole and the incoming Governor, Marc Carney, warned that the UK was a "crisis economy".
UN trip to Syrian refugee camp unlikely as US rules out Palestine inspection
China and Russia are reported to be blocking a UN Security Council trip to inspect Syrian refugee camps inside Jordan where there are an estimated 0.5mn refugees. In order to reach a consensus Russia suggested any UN delegation could also visit the Palestinian territories but that idea was rejected by the US. There are also large numbers of refugees now in neighbouring Lebanon and Turkey which have been growing rapidly ever since the al-Qaeda and western-backed insurgents rose up against the government.
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