LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Thursday an independent inquiry into letters of immunity 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 an independent judge with full access to government files and officials would lead the review and report back by the end of May.
LONDON (Reuters) – Insurance and pensions heavyweight Standard Life (SL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) became the first major company to warn it could move partly out of Scotland if Scots split from the United Kingdom, fuelling a political row over the financial impact of independence.
The company, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years, revealed on Thursday that it had a contingency plan to partly move from Scotland, potentially putting 5,000 jobs at risk.
LONDON (Reuters) – Insurance and pensions heavyweight Standard Life became the first major company to warn it could move parts of its business out of Scotland if Scots split from the United Kingdom, dealing a blow to the independence movement.
The company, which has been based in Scotland for 189 years, announced on Thursday that it had a contingency plan to partly move from Scotland, potentially putting 5,000 jobs at risk.
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – An independent Scotland’s use of
the British pound without the permission of the rest of the UK
could endanger the stability of the nation’s financial sector,
Scotland’s financial services industry head warned on Wednesday.
Owen Kelly, chief executive of the Scottish Financial
Enterprise, said adopting sterling informally would mean losing
the services of the Bank of England as a backstop and having to
shoulder the cost of setting up a new Scottish regulator.
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s embattled Co-operative
Group said on Wednesday it was selling its farming
business and looking at offloading its pharmacies as the BBC
reported the group was about to report the worst loss in its
The sales are part of a restructuring at the member-owned
group rocked in the past year by the discovery of a 1.5 billion
pound ($2.5 billion) capital hole in its banking arm and a drugs
scandal involving ex-chairman, Methodist minister Paul Flowers.
LONDON (Reuters) – Leading Christian clergy in Britain, including the head of the Church of England, attacked welfare cuts by the Conservative-led government on Thursday, putting them at odds with Prime Minister David Cameron.
As Britain struggles to reduce its large budget deficit, the government has embarked on a radical shake-up of the welfare system that makes up 20 percent of public spending and has vowed to cut costs if returned to power in an election next year.
LONDON (Reuters) – The first opinion poll since Britain’s rulers warned Scots they would lose the pound if they voted to leave the United Kingdom showed a slight increase in support for independence ahead of a referendum on the issue scheduled for September 18.
Politicians in London have tried to undermine the case for independence by cautioning that breaking the 307-year-old union with England would make Scots poorer.
LONDON (Reuters) – More Scots would prefer the Scottish parliament to be given greater powers to control their tax and spending than the riskier option of independence from the United Kingdom, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
Social research institute ScotCen found further devolution, or “devo max”, was the preferred future for many Scots although this option will not feature when they go to vote on September 18 on whether Scotland should break away from Britain.
Church of England priests will not be allowed to bless gay and lesbian weddings, or marry someone of the same sex themselves, according to new guidelines issued by the church, which is struggling to heal divides over homosexuality.
LONDON (Reuters) – Separatist leader Alex Salmond insisted on Monday that Scotland would keep the pound if it left the UK and accused British politicians of bluffing by ruling out a currency union in a campaign of fear that would provoke a backlash from Scots.
Salmond is fighting a concerted attempt by London to prevent a “yes” verdict in a September 18 referendum on independence by undermining his central economic case that oil-rich Scotland could be a prosperous, independent nation.