If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they’ll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe’s postwar prosperity and security - the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defense alliance.
In breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland would automatically find itself outside both the EU and NATO, and have to reapply to join both, officials from those Brussels-based organizations have stressed.
For the EU especially, Scottish re-entry could be a long and arduous process, with other countries dead set against letting the Scots retain the privileges awarded Britain: the so-called opt-outs from being required to use the euro single currency and to join the multination Schengen zone where internal border controls have been scrapped.
A surge in Scottish support for breaking away from the United Kingdom has made an independence vote in nine days too close to call, a poll showed on Tuesday, as London scrambled to shore up the 307-year union by pledging more autonomy to Scotland.
The number of people in the TNS poll saying they would vote “No” to independence fell to 39 percent from 45 percent a month ago while “Yes” support leapt to 38 percent from 32 percent.
“This poll reveals a remarkable shift in voting intentions,” said Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland.
“It is too close to call and both sides will now be energized to make the most of the last few days of the campaign and try and persuade the undecided voters of the merits of their respective campaigns.”
Shares in Edinburgh-based Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland fell on Monday after supporters of Scottish independence took their first opinion poll lead since the referendum campaign began.
Lloyds’ shares were down 2.5 percent by 0845 GMT and Royal Bank of Scotland’s down 2.3 percent. Shares in TSB, which does a quarter of its mortgage lending in Scotland and is majority-owned by Lloyds, were down 2.8 percent.
Scotland will vote on Sept. 18 whether to stay in the United Kingdom.
Economists have questioned whether an independent Scotland would be able to host such large banks. Banking industry sources told Reuters last week that Lloyds is considering moving its registered offices to London if Scots vote for independence. RBS is examining its options.
The two banks have warned that Scottish independence would present a significant risk to their businesses, impacting their funding, tax and compliance costs.
She obliged. How could she not? They knew where she lived. “If you don’t come back, we will rape your mother and make you watch,” they would say.
At night, she would come home and hide her soiled clothes at the back of her closet. When she finally found the courage to tell her mother, just shy of her 14th birthday, two police officers came to collect the clothes as evidence, half a dozen bags of them.
But a few days later, they called to say the bags had been lost.
“All of them?” she remembers asking. A check was mailed, 140 pounds, or $232, for loss of property, and the family was discouraged from pressing charges. It was the girl’s word against that of the men. The case was closed.
Lucy’s account of her experience is emblematic of what investigators say happened during a 16-year reign of terror and impunity in this poor northern English town of 257,000, where at least 1,400 children, some as young as 11, were groomed for sexual exploitation while the authorities looked the other way. One girl told investigators that gang rape was part of growing up in her neighborhood.
The Respect MP was set upon while talking to residents on a street in Notting Hill
TwitterA picture tweeted by Respect as George Gallowaymade his way to hospital last night
A 39-year-old man has been charged in connection with an alleged attack which left Respect MP George Galloway battered and bruised.
The controversial pro-Palestine MP is said to have been set upon by a man shouting about the Holocaust as he posed for pictures with members of the public in Notting Hill last night.
He suffered a suspected broken jaw and rib in the attack which took place incident in Goldborne Road.
The Government has announced plans to cut public funding to nurseries that teach creationism as scientific fact or fail to promote ‘British values’, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced.
Toddlers will be expected to be taught “fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way” and nurseries that do not “support this aim” will not receive public money, Ms Morgan announced.
The promotion of ‘British values’ will be added to the early years curriculum in England, which sets out the statutory standards that all early years providers must meet.
Nurseries that teach creationism “as scientific fact” will also be ineligible for taxpayer funding under the new rules - but a government source has said: “We are absolutely not saying, ‘You can’t teach Bible stories’.”
As violent attacks against Jewish communities and businesses continue in Europe, antisemitic incidents are also on the rise in Britain, according to new figures.
Up to 70 hate attacks have been reported in the UK since July 8th, coinciding with the start of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to monitoring body the Community Security Trust (CST).
While Saturday’s Free Gaza march in London passed off without much violent disturbance apart from isolated offensive placards and a banner, the CST said it expected more anti-Semitic incidents to be reported from the weekend.
Police said a window was smashed some time on Friday night or Saturday morning.
A replacement window was then smashed on Saturday afternoon or evening. Police are treating it as a religious hate crime.
They have appealed for anyone who witnessed the attacks or has any information about them to contact them on the non-emergency 101 number.
Rabbi David Singer said the Jewish community had been left shocked by the attack.
He said: “I think across the community, first of all, it’s very sad that it happened. I would imagine that there’s a certain amount of anger that it could happen, but angry in the sense of frustration, not angry in the sense that they’d want to do anything about it.
“Certainly, it’s very sad and very disturbing that Belfast would show its face like this.”
The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said it was “totally unacceptable” for places of worship to be targeted.
“The Jewish community have been valuable members of our society for many years,” he said.
NCA deputy director general Phil Gormley said the crackdown involved images accessed via the so-called “dark net”.
The “dark net” refers to content that does not appear in normal search engines and users often use virtual currencies to avoid detection. According to the Internet Watch Foundation, less than 1% of its content is hosted in the UK.
Mr Gormley said sex offenders should understand they cannot avoid detection while using the internet, even the dark net.
And he added: “Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended - it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line.