An oil boom in Scotland's North Sea bringing in £48bn over the next 6
years has been forecast by the government
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday
Scottish North Sea oil boom over next six years
North Sea oil and gas will produce £48bn of revenue in the next six years confirming Scotland as the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the EU and accounting for 64 percent of the EU's oil production, according to the new government Oil and Gas Analytical Bulletin. The bulletin was welcomed by the leading industry representative body Oil and Gas UK. The forecast is the equivalent to almost one thousand pounds for every person living in Scotland.
Scottish independence: Scots to be granted dual citizenship, says Scottish government
The Scottish government anticipates that millions of Scots will be able to continue using British passports thus having access to UK diplomatic support abroad. A Scottish government spokesman said: "An independent Scotland could recognise the complex history of Scotland and the United Kingdom by offering shared or dual citizenship." Former Labour leader Iain Gray said there was no evidence that the UK would agree. It is not clear if Mr Gray has asked for confirmation from Westminster.
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Leading consultant pours scorn on Unionist “scaremongering” over transplants
Kidney specialist Izhar Khan, a consultant at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, has dismissed attempts to scare the Scottish population by spreading fears that vital organ transplants will be disrupted in an independent Scotland. Mr Khan felt compelled to reassure the population that there is no doubt that transplants would continue to be available on exactly the same basis as they are currently. Mr Khan said of the Better Together tactic: “This appears to be nothing more than scaremongering. As a doctor, I do not ask if a patient is Scottish, English, Irish or Welsh. Doctors treat patients, not nationalities...An independent Scotland would continue these arrangements for a number of very straightforward and sensible reasons - not least because these services are paid for and are extra-contractual...Money follows the patient from Scotland and the struggling NHS in England is not going to refuse lucrative contracts.”
Salmond demands apology from Cameron over troop cuts
First Minister Alex Salmond has demanded David Cameron apologise for his government's "deplorable" handling of its review of military bases and personnel. Pointing to the UK government’s relocating fewer troops to Scotland than previously promised, Mr Salmond lambasted the "betrayal" and said Defence Secretary Philip Hammond had shown "shameful disregard" by ignoring Scottish officials while supporting service personnel in England. The UK government previously promised that relocated troop numbers would be 5,000 while now that figure is only 800 around - around 15 percent of the previously promised number. Mr Salmond argued that the UK government had broken the "bond of trust" with Scotland.
Scots economy on the rise, survey suggests
The Bank of Scotland's PMI survey indicated that the Scottish economy improved in February creating new jobs. The survey does not however show if these jobs are temporary or related to quantitative easing (money printing). The report also warned that costs increased "markedly" last month, reporting a rise in operating costs which may be related to the continued plunge in the value of sterling.
Fear that the UK will not uphold human rights
SNP MP Pete Wishart has expressed deep concern over comments made by UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling that show his failure to grasp the concept of human rights law. Grayling has said non UK-nationals arriving in the UK should not be able to 'cite their human rights'. Commenting, Pete Wishart MP said: “Grayling's comments show he fails to grasp the very meaning – that human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. It is astounding, and deeply worrying that these comments have come from the Justice Secretary...With Independence, Scotland can make its own mark on the world, including the upholding of human rights.”
UK crisis: British banks should be split up if new rules broken by single bank
Should a single lender abuse new rules aimed at protecting taxpayers then all should face having their branch network split from their speculation operations, warned the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. Systemic fraud across the UK financial sector has led to general economic crises and government austerity while leading bankers have enjoyed multi-million pound bonuses. No senior banker has yet been charged with financial crimes in the UK.
Lib Dems ‘shameful’ support of secret courts
The Lib Dems stance as custodians of individual liberties has been obliterated by the resignation of two prominent members of the party who had been petitioning against secret courts - accusing Clegg of a betrayal of liberal values and employing the same shoddy realpolitik as the Blair government. The leadership has argued that the bill will nevertheless reach statute book since it has the support of the Conservatives and Labour, making the arithmetic of defeat impossible. David Howarth, a reader in law at Cambridge University and former MP for the city, described the party's continued support for the bill as "quite simply shameful". "This bill does nothing to help the security services to gain more information or foil more plots. All it does is give them an unfair advantage in cases where they are accused of kidnapping and torture”.
Afghan leader comments on US Taliban collusion
President Hamid Karzai has accused the United States of colluding with the Taliban to justify its presence in Afghanistan, dumbfounding US officials during a problematic visit by the new Pentagon chief. The president said the United States was in "daily" talks with the Taliban and that insurgent suicide attacks enabled the international military force to vindicate its deployment in Afghanistan. Karzai, who has frequently lashed out at perceived US slights through inflammatory language, was angered by a new delay to the planned transfer of the controversial Bagram jail from US to Afghan control.
US and South Korea defy North's threat
A joint South Korean and US troop exercise called "Key Resolve" which North Korea expressed its displeasure at went ahead on Monday. The North, perceiving the exercise as a 'provocative invasion rehearsal' threatened a nuclear attack over the matter. Pyongyang has carried out its threat to cut its hotline with Seoul.
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