By G.A.Ponsonby
First Minister Alex Salmond has declared the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future officially open and called for the “great debate” to begin.
Speaking at Edinburgh Castle in front of the assembled ranks of the world’s media Mr Salmond spelled out his vision of an independent Scotland.

By Martin Kelly
First Minister Alex Salmond has outlined the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals for the independence referendum in the much anticipated consultation document.
Announcing its publication in the Holyrood chamber Mr Salmond insisted that the referendum should be decided by the Scottish people and that the option of devo-max would not be ruled out.

by a Newsnet reporter

The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, yesterday characterised as “absolutely false” reports in the British media that Spain would veto Scottish membership of the EU.  The report had been originally published in the London based Independent, and repeated by a number of other news outlets.

By First Minister – Alex Salmond 
It is a privilege to give a lecture in honour of Hugo Young. At Hugo’s memorial service, Chris, now Lord, Patten said “the quality of what Hugo wrote, and the standards he set for himself and others, brought distinction to a profession too often demeaned by tawdry unreason.”
One of the reasons for Hugo’s excellence became evident five years after his death, when The Hugo Young Papers were first published. They revealed the sheer diligence and accuracy of his working methods over the course of his career.

By a Newsnet reporter

The Scottish Government are reported to be considering holding the independence referendum on a Saturday in a bid to encourage people to participate.
The news comes as a consultation document is about to be published which will set out the plans of Alex Salmond’s administration as it bids to persuade the electorate to back independence in the ballot to be held in the Autumn of 2014.

By G.A.Ponsonby
Claims by Lib Dem peer Jim Wallace that the Scottish Government does not have the power to hold an independence referendum have been summarily dismissed by First Minister Alex Salmond.
Speaking after the Westminster based Lord’s speech in Glasgow yesterday afternoon, Mr Salmond said Mr Wallace had a “limited electoral mandate” and suggested the Lib Dem peer had now politicised the role of legal advisor on Scots law to the UK coalition.

By a Newsnet reporter
Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish has said he is prepared to consider leading a campaign that argued for the so called third option of devo-max and he would be “flattered” if asked.
Speaking on STV’s Scotland Tonight Mr McLeish argued that devo-max should be an option offered to the Scottish people in the 2014 referendum alongside independence and the status-quo.