Diary: 14,000 bogus reasons to stay in Union

Much as it would pain many of us living south of Gretna Green to see Scotland leave the UK, it really does not help the case for the union if the Government tries to undermine the SNP by talking bollocks.

That is what they did when Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, put out a statement last month claiming that an independent Scotland would have to renegotiate 14,000 treaties to which the UK is a party.

It is true that the Scots would have to do some serious negotiating. Recently, the Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkevics, became the latest European leader to warn that an independent Scotland would have to apply for EU membership as a "new country". His views matter because it will be Latvia's turn to hold the EU presidency during the Scottish referendum.

But 14,000 treaties? That has prompted an avalanche of written questions to the Foreign Office from SNP politicians, inquiring about the status of some of the treaties on that long list. Has the FCO checked that the UK is discharging its obligations under the Declaration between Great Britain and Prussia relative to Commerce and Navigation between the Ionian Islands and the States of the Zollverein, for example? And have there been any recent breaches of the agreement between Great Britain and His Majesty King Leopold II, sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo, relating to their agreed spheres of interest in East and central Africa?

David Lidington, the Foreign Office minister, has been compelled to admit that "some of the 14,000 treaties are no longer in force". But then, on the other hand, thousands still are.

Who tried to love FT's Lucy?

Much interest yesterday in the identity of the journalist who once tried it on with the Financial Times columnist, Lucy Kellaway,.

At a time when we keep reading of "inappropriate" sexual advances, Ms Kellaway has branched out by calling her would-be seducer the "appropriate face of inappropriate conduct" because he asked politely and took no for an answer gracefully.

What we know about him, from the article, is that he was a fairly senior journalist on the Financial Times in 1985 and still has "considerable access" to the mass media, which narrows it down a bit.

Reforming MP should go home

Every time MPs end their day's work and the Commons chamber closes for business, two doorkeepers, one stationed behind the Speaker's chair and the other in the Members' lobby, cry out simultaneously: "Who goes home?"

This custom, inviting them to band together for protection, arises from when there was a real danger of MPs being mugged in the unlit fields between Westminster and the City.

David Winnick, one of Parliament's longest-serving MPs, has written to the Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, suggesting that it be ended. Lansley fobbed him off by telling him to write to the chairman of the Procedure Committee, Charles Walker.

"I probably will, but I don't have much hope that anything will be done," Winnick tells me. "The chairman of the Procedure Committee is usually a rather conservative figure or if he's a moderniser, like the present chap, he takes the attitude 'why bother about something that is not causing any controversy?'"

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before