Charles Maclaren

For 200 years, it has been the liberal voice of Scottish culture and aspiration. Long may that continue

Around 1840, a distinguished editor of the Scotsman called Charles Maclaren proved, with the help of an equally distinguished Swiss geologist called Louis Agassiz, that there had been an ice age in Scotland 10,000 years before, and that the country had been shaped and marked by something that, until then, people had not been aware of. It was a worldwide scoop, and its central piece of evidence was a vast, scarred rock on Blackford Hill in Edinburgh.

With the news that Scotland’s national newspaper, 200 years old last year, is up for sale in a job lot with hundreds of other Johnston Press titles, the metaphors lurking in that piece of Scotsman history are numerous. That vast, scarred rock redolent of meaning, fact, truth, analysis and history could be the Scotsman itself. The paper has punched above its weight internationally (it was a fervent supporter of African nationalism at a time when most other papers followed the government line on “mutiny and disobedience”) and has always been the voice of the Scottish centre, of Scottish culture and aspiration.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

customs solution

PM rules out agreeing to anything that ‘threatens the integrity of our UK’ as talks hit impasse

Theresa May has declared she “cannot agree to anything that threatens the integrity of our United Kingdom” as she told MPs that the European Union’s insistence on retaining the Northern Ireland backstop was unacceptable.

The prime minister said while she had proposed that the UK would remain in a countrywide “customs solution” as an alternative, the EU had told her there was not enough time to work out the detail as to how it would work.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Chevening

The image of the foreign secretary with his EU counterparts looks comical at first, but there are dark echoes to it

The moment over the weekend when the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his fellow European foreign ministers posed grinning and waving for a picture in the middle of a maze must have been one of those brief pauses of optimism in the Brexit process when a happy outcome seemed just a few laughing circuits of the greenery away – only for Arlene Foster or Jacob Rees-Mogg to appear at the next turn of the labyrinth with axe in hand and a determination to stay entrenched for ever and ever and ever.

A softly melancholic autumnal scatter of brown leaves across the emerald hedge-tops hints at winter closing in and the possibility – probability? – that the government’s cursed meanderings will leave Britain by the end of it completely and utterly lost. It was taken at Chevening, a country house in Kent at the prime minister’s disposal, which has a special association with the Foreign Office and whose maze is suggestive of a different age of elite diplomacy, when John le Carré’s George Smiley might have given his latest unsmiling account of the labyrinthine games of cold war espionage to a senior minister among these discreet walks.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Brussels

Theresa May faces four days of negotiations, presentations and confrontations

Theresa May updates MPs on the progress of the Brexit negotiations after Brussels rebuffed her plan to replace the EU’s Northern Ireland backstop with a UK-wide one. In the early evening she will meet the leader of the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

island of Ireland

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald to tell Theresa May ‘not to hitch herself’ to DUP

Sinn Féinwill demand a referendum on the future of Northern Ireland if there is no deal on Brexit, because as a hard border would be erected the instant the UK crashes out of the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, the party’s leader has said.

Mary Lou McDonald said a hard border would be so damaging to peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland that the Irish would not just sit back and allow it to happen.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

European Union

Met outlines scope of any inquiry as campaign group takes government to court

Police have said they will not investigate allegations of Russian state interference in the 2016 EU referendum or complaints about the involvement of foreign-based companies.

Confirmation of the narrow scope of any future police investigation comes as lawyers for the Fair Vote Project prepare to lodge a judicial review challenge this week over the government’s refusal to hold an inquiry.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Brexit transition period SNP leader

SNP leader says more time is needed to agree compromise for ‘common sense’ future relationship with EU

Nicola Sturgeon has called for an extension of the 21-month Brexit transition period to give the government more time to negotiate a compromise with opposition parties to deliver a “common sense” future relationship with the EU.

Related: Theresa May to make statement to MPs this afternoon about Brexit talks – Politics live

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

Bobby McDonagh

I understand many unionists are not happy. But the alternative to compromise would not be stalemate, but a Brexit that does them no favours

Respect for unionist aspirations is a requirement of the Good Friday agreement. If we are to deepen friendship on our small island that respect should be written in our hearts. Parity of esteem, which requires equal respect for nationalist aspirations, must work in both directions.

As a former Irish diplomat, I come from a different tradition from unionism, but it is with that awareness that I offer the following thoughts.

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com

David Davis

Post-Brexit Britain will be better off if it continues to trade with the EU. To claim otherwise puts tens of thousands of jobs at risk

Brinkmanship needs a brink. Britain’s EU brink comes as border gates slam shut at Dover, the M20 jams and the French visa office is besieged. That prospect may delight Boris Johnson, David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg, but even the deepest cynic must assume those elected to lead the country will not let it happen.

Related: Theresa May’s reward for a Brexit deal? Political annihilation | Matthew d’Ancona

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Source:: from www.theguardian.com




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