EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland’s nationalist leader Alex Salmond has more than independence on his mind. The combative politician has come to embody self-rule, always sporting a lapel pin or tie with Scotland’s white-and-blue crossed Saltire flag. Cartoonists depict him in tartan, his face painted with the flag.
But with polls showing that Scots remain doubtful about separation from the rest of the United Kingdom in a September 18 referendum, people who know Salmond well say he has positioned himself to come out ahead no matter what happens in the vote.
LONDON (Reuters) – Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown emerged from the shadows on Monday to argue for more powers for Scotland rather than independence, stepping up the opposition Labour party’s fight to prevent a Scottish breakaway from the United Kingdom.
Brown, a Scot who has kept a low profile since losing the 2010 general election, said he intended to play a major role to stop Britain coming apart at the September 18 Scottish referendum by giving voters an alternative to independence.
LONDON (Reuters) – Celebrities plunging into the debate on Scottish independence risk attracting public wrath from opposing sides in the run-up to the September 18 referendum. Some, like tennis star Andy Murray, have opted to keep quiet.
James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery, a long-time Scottish nationalist, advocates breaking the 307-year tie with England, supporting separatists’ arguments that oil-rich Scotland can be a prosperous, independent nation.
CARDIFF (Reuters) – Scotland’s fight for independence is unlikely to succeed but the battle will benefit the entire United Kingdom by leading to a rebalancing of powers, the leader of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said on Wednesday.
Jones, first minister of the Welsh Assembly, opposes Scotland’s bid to leave the United Kingdom, arguing it is risky and that the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that dates back 307 years is stronger together.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish leader Alex Salmond called on all Britons on Tuesday to back his campaign for an independent Scotland to help create a northern economic counterweight to stop London from sucking the life out of the rest of the country.
In his first speech in London this year, Salmond said life in the United Kingdom had become increasingly unbalanced with regional centers suffering as London dominated the economic landscape and rising numbers of people relying on food handouts.
LONDON (Reuters) – An independent Scotland would be a prosperous country that would retain close ties with the United Kingdom if voters choose to go it alone in the September 18 referendum, Scottish leader Alex Salmond will say on Tuesday.
Salmond will use his first speech in London this year to address arguments against independence by British Prime Minister David Cameron, opposition leaders and some business executives.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain urged Russia on Saturday to calm the situation in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament’s authority to invade his neighbor’s territory.
“There can be no excuse for outside military intervention in Ukraine – a point I made to President Putin when we spoke yesterday,” Prime Minister David Cameron said.
LONDON (Reuters) – A British man once held at Guantanamo Bay turned human rights campaigner told a court in London on Saturday he would plead not guilty to providing training and funding terrorism in Syria, police said.
Moazzam Begg, 45, who was released without charge from the U.S. military prison in Cuba in 2005, was detained at his home in Birmingham in central England last week and charged with terrorism offences dated between October 2012 and April 2013.
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The head of the International
Airlines Group, that owns British Airways, said on
Friday that Scottish independence could be good for business,
providing a boost to the campaign that wants Scotland to split
from the United Kingdom.
After a flurry of companies this week raised potential risks
from independence, IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said he was
not worried about British Airway’s prospects if Scotland voted
on Sept. 18 to end a 307-year tie with England.
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Thursday an independent inquiry into letters sent to IRA suspects, after an angry response to the freeing of an Irishman accused of a 1982 bombing that killed four soldiers in London.
Cameron said it was clear that there had been a “dreadful mistake” in the case of John Downey, who walked free from a London court this month because of a letter which mistakenly told him he was longer being sought for prosecution.