Reform Scotland News: 29 November 2013

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

Currency union: Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has said he would welcome the opportunity to hold a basic discussion with the Scottish Government on its plans for a currency union after independence. (Scotsman page 1)

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has warned that Scottish independence means losing the pound, directly contradicting the Scottish Government’s blueprint on independence. (Telegraph page 1, Times page 2, Guardian page 11, Mail page 7)

 

White Paper: The Ministry of Defence has rejected the Scottish Government’s plan for joint defence procurement to save the Clyde shipbuilding industry after independence. (Scotsman page 3)

 

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said he cannot guarantee the rest of the UK would continue subsidising Scottish renewables after independence, as set out in the Scottish Government’s White Paper. (Herald page 6, P&J page 16)

 

Alison Rowat writing in the Herald criticised the White Paper for being patronising to women and argues that the Scottish Government already has the powers to implement the childcare policy put forward in the White Paper.

 

Cigarette packaging: The Scottish Government has set out plans to bring in legislation on plain packaging for cigarettes in 2014-15 and will consult on the details of the policy next year. The plans have led to the UK Coalition being accused of “playing catch up” with Scotland after their recent policy U-turn. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 5, Telegraph page 18)

 

Migration: Prime Minister David Cameron has told European leaders that more ways must be found to prevent mass migration from new EU states to those with higher living conditions. Speaking at a summit in Lithuania, Mr Cameron faced stiff criticism over his hopes for reform, but France and Germany are thought to be supportive. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1, Times page 25, Express page 2, Sun page 4, Mail page 8)

 

Labour whistleblower: Linda Gow, a former Labour council leader who helped trigger an inquiry into vote-rigging allegations in Falkirk, has reportedly been blocked from standing as the party’s Westminster candidate in the seat. (Scotsman page 18, Telegraph page 16, Express page 4, Courier page 28, P&J page 13)

 

EU membership: Alex Salmond has been accused of misleading voters over claims he had official confirmation that an independent Scotland could be fast-tracked unto the EU. The row came as Mr Salmond dismissed the Spanish Prime Minister’s warning that Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership. It later emerged that the letter Mr Salmond referenced was a reply to a reader of a pro-independence website. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Times page 4, Record page 4, Express page 4, Kerry Gill in the Express, Sun pages 10-11, Mail page 1, Courier page 21)

 

George Kerevan writing in the Scotsman criticises EU “scaremongers” for insisting an independent Scotland would not remain part of the EU and would have to re-apply for membership.

 

Alex Salmond: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph questions whether Alex Salmond should be praising Nicola Sturgeon as much as he does or whether Ms Sturgeon should take over the campaign for independence.

 

Independence: Fraser Nelson writing in the Telegraph questions why the UK Government is not making more of an effort to make the case for the Union.

 

Energy policy: Labour leader Ed Miliband will launch the party’s plan for Britain’s energy market today which is expected to include proposals to improve competition and transparency in the wholesale and retail markets and replace Ofgem with a new regulator. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 16)

 

Parental leave: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce plans to allow fathers to share up to 50 weeks of parental leave with their partners today. The reforms are expected to extend parents’ existing right to flexible working to all employees, in an attempt to recognise the growing role of grandparents and other carers in looking after children. (Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, FT page 4, Guardian page 21, Mail page 2)

 

Economy

Energy bills: Richard Westoby, director of retail economics at SSE, has warned that British households are wasting money by failing to insulate their houses sufficiently. (Scotsman page 13, Richard Westoby in the Scotsman)

 

Property bubble: Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned that the economy was at risk from a property bubble driven by cheap mortgages. Mr Carney gave the warning as he scrapped a flagship initiative that encourages mortgage lending in a bid to slow the surging property market. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 6, Times page 2, FT pages 1 and 3, Guardian page 1, Mail page 4)

 

Justice

Union intimidation: Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Sir Stephen House is reportedly to investigate claims of intimidation during the controversial protests organised by Unite at the homes of Grangemouth refinery bosses. (Herald page 5, Mail page 24)

 

Health

Healthcare study: A Europe-wide study claiming Scotland’s extra spending on healthcare was making little difference to the performance of the NHS has been criticised by Scottish ministers. (Herald page 5)

 

Education

Tuition fees: Andrew Denholm writing in the Herald criticises the assertion in the White Paper that Scottish universities could continue to charge students from the rest of the UK tuition fees after independence whilst remaining free for Scottish and EU students.

 

Local Government

Street lights: Street lights that can detect fights and alert police are to be trialled in Glasgow in a bid to increase safety and save power. The lights form part of a £24million Future City/Glasgow project to demonstrate how technology could improve urban life. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 8, Times page 3)