Referendum

  By a Newsnet reporter

A senior Northern Irish member of the Orange Order has called for people with an “Ulster Scots background” to be allowed to vote in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. 

Dr David Hume, Director of Services of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ulster, said that Ulster Scots were “stakeholders” in the future of Scotland and deserved to have their say.

  By a Newsnet reporter
 
Better Together head, Alistair Darling is being called on to clarify whether data, gathered illegally by the anti-independence campaign, will be destroyed.
 
Following the relevation that the No to independence “Better Together” campaign has committed a “criminal offence” by collecting data since its launch in June without being registered with the Information Commissioner, the Scottish National Party has written to Mr Darling, calling on him to confirm that personal information it holds on thousands of voters will be disposed of.

  By Bob Duncan
 
The Better Together campaign for a No vote to independence has for months been collecting personal information on thousands of voters, in a breach of data protection law.
 
The SNP said the credibility of the anti-independence campaign had been dealt a serious blow after it was revealed they been committing a criminal offence by gathering information on thousands of voters without registering to do so.

  By Bob Duncan
 
Claims by Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that an Independent Scotland would be too poor to sustain welfare support, have been dismissed as “scaremongering” by the SNP.
 
On a trip to Scotland today, the Work and Pensions Secretary said that the annual benefit and pensions bill in Scotland is almost twice as much as the revenues raised each year from North Sea oil and gas.

  By Bob Duncan
 
Scotland has been wealthier than the rest of the UK for every single year since 1980, new analysis of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures has shown.
 
The figures, obtained from the UK and Scottish Governments and released by the SNP, show that on average Scotland’s GDP per head has been £1,905 (14.34%) higher than that of the rest of the UK – and that gap has grown to £3,804 (16.62%) per head since the Scottish National Party came to office in 2007.

  By Bob Duncan
 
Claims that an independent Scotland would be expelled from the EU have been dealt a blow after weekend reports revealed that the other EU members consider Scotland to be “an asset”.
 
The Mail on Sunday quotes an EU insider as saying: “People often forget the EU is an incredibly expansionist organisation – there is little doubt that an independent Scotland would be seen as an asset to the EU.”

  By Bob Duncan
 
The European Commission has today confirmed that its position on an independent Scotland’s EU membership remains unchanged from previous statements, following yesterday’s comments about the possible secession of Catalunya from Spain.
 
The EC said that comments made yesterday had been misinterpreted by many and that they wished to make it clear that they would not interfere in the internal affairs of Member States – including on Scottish independence.