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Reform Scotland News: 19 June 2012

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.

In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News

Politics

Trident: SNP MPs have criticised the UK government’s decision to sign a contract for the production of reactors for nuclear powered submarines as part of plans to prepare for a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons. (Scotsman page 8, Michael Codner in the Scotsman, John Ainslie in the Scotsman, Ewan Crawford in the Scotsman, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 2)

NATO: Following talks on defence issues with Denmark and Norway, the SNP is reportedly set to drop its opposition to an independent Scotland joining NATO. The change in policy is supposedly to stop alienation of potential voters ahead of the referendum, though is though to be unpopular with many Nationalists . (Express page 5).

Opinion poll: A poll by Ipsos MORI of 1,000 people has shown that 35% of Scots would vote for independence compared to 39% in January 2012. SNP MP Angus Robertson has commented to an Austrian newspaper that the SNP were not nationalist and would like closer ties with the European Union. (Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 4, Sun page 1, Record page 4)

Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph discusses the SNP’s changing terminology following Angus Robertson’s comments to an Austrian newspaper about not being nationalist. 

Salmond and human rights: The First Minister has been urged to publically speak out and support human rights in Tibet after it has emerged that he has spoken to Chinese officials in advance of the Dalia Lama’s visit to Scotland. (Times page 5).

“Sterling zone”: Alistair Darling is expected to say today that the SNP’s proposals for a “Sterling zone” currency union after independence could be rejected by the remaining components of the UK who may fear a Eurozone-style meltdown.  He is expected add that Scotland simply using the pound would be more like “serfdom, than freedom”.(Scotsman page 1).

Gay marriage: Martin Crew, head of Barnardo’s, Scotland’s second largest charity, commented that “love and care” is crucial in raising children, not marital status. He has voiced concerns at some of the arguments about family life being used as part of the debate on gay marriage. (Herald page 1).

Economy

Eurozone crisis: David Cameron has warned that inaction in tackling the Eurozone crisis could cause the Euro to collapse or lead to long-term economic stagnation. (Herald page 1, FT page 4, Express page 2, Sun page 2, Guardian page 1, Courier page 23).

Regional pay U-turn:  George Osborne is reportedly considering a u-turn on the UK government’s plans for regional pay for public sector workers. The plans were originally criticised by the SNP as they could see public-sector workers in Scotland earn less English counterparts (Herald page 1, Times page 16). 

Brave: VisitScotland has invested £7million in the latest Disney/ Pixar movie, Brave, which is set in Scotland.  It is hoped that the extra tourism the film could attract could boost Scotland’s economy by up to £140million. (Scotsman page 10, Courier page 3, P&J page 10).

Privatisation criticisms: Joe Connolly, chief executive of Ypeople (formerly YMCA Glasgow) has criticised Government procurement programmes and ‘privitisation by stealth’. The comments were made at a demonstration it faced over plans to evit more than 70 asylum seekers. (Herald page 9).

G20 summit: Gordon Brown in the Scotsman comments on the G20 Summit in Mexico.

Scotland’s economy: David Watt in the Scotsman comments that there are dangers if we become too fixated on our constitutional future as it is the economy that should be the key concern at present.

Justice

Prostitution: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is expected today to try and get her private members bill to criminalise people paying for sex fast-tracked through Holyrood.  The aim in to cut the demand for prostitution, however, support groups have warned that it could place women in more vulnerable situations. (Scotsman page 14, Jenny Kemp in the Scotsman)

Deportation and prisoners: MPs are expected to vote today over the issue of whether foreign criminals who are jailed for four or more years should be deported regardless of how long they have been in Britain. (Telegraph page 14).

Local Government

Wind farms in Fife: Fife council is the second council to call for the SNP to have a temporary suspension in bids and proposals for green energy schemes. (Herald page 5, Telegraph page 4, Sun page 2, P&J page 11).

Health

PIP breast implants: A government report by NHS medical directors has stated that although PIP breast implants are defective and likely to rupture, they do not present a significant risk to health.  The report has been condemned by Scottish campaigners who are calling for a public inquiry into the issue. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 11, Mail page 12, P&J page 19)

Legionella inquiry: Tom Bell, chief executive of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland has called for a public inquiry over the recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Edinburgh. The outbreak has infected 91 people and 2 have died. (Herald page 3).

Prostate cancer: A study published by the journal ‘Nutrition and Cancer’ has found the men who drink at least seven cups of tea a day increase their risks of developing prostate cancer by 50%. Research was conducted on men from Glasgow, Clydesdale and Grangemouth between 1970 and 1973 found some participants had developed the cancer by 2007. (Herald page 4, Telegraph page 6, Record page 13, Mail page 13, P&J page 18).