Why an independent Scotland could become the richest country on Earth

On a per capita basis, the nation has all the ingredients to be one of the world's most prosperous nations

Butler: he always thought that Britain had joined the EC on
unfavourable terms

Sir Michael Butler: Europhile whose work on Britain's behalf culminated in his securing the EU budget rebate that Thatcher longed for

Michael Butler had been at the forefront of Britain's international relations longer than the Queen when he neatly tied up the details of the nation's budget rebate from the European Union with a word to the German finance ministry. His quiet tête à tête with the future head of the German central bank, Professor Hans Tietmeyer – then finance ministry deputy secretary-general – without telling the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was against the rules and could have lost him his job as Britain's Permanent Representative to the European Commission, but his intrigue worked.

From the bargain basement to high Five: Richard Desmond stands to make £600m from sale of television channel

Within days of buying Channel 5 for £103m, Richard Desmond sacked seven of the nine members of the board, axed 80 of the 250 staff and disposed of the broadcaster’s well-appointed, modern headquarters in London’s Covent Garden.

Controversy as Vodafone books £18bn credit from tax losses

Phone giant denies dodging tax as Luxembourg structure comes under fire again
Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill is determined to make a fresh start by addressing the talent drain to the Republic of Ireland

Michael O'Neill agrees two-year extension as Northern Ireland manager

O'Neill has been in charge since December 2011

Chris Brunt tries to make progress during Northern Ireland's defeat

Azerbaijan 2 Northern Ireland 0: Further Irish shame with loss in Baku

Azerbaijan had only won one World Cup qualifier in the last dozen years

Cigarette companies accused of supplying black market in Britain

MPs says Treasury is being cheated by firms that deliberately flood European markets

22 May 2013: Lawyers carry a coffin during a mock funeral procession at a protest against proposed cuts to legal aid outside the Houses of Parliament

The Government's case for legal aid cuts does not stand up to cross examination

Our legal system is still - just about - the envy of the world. Not for long

European Union flag

Postcard from... Brussels

James Moore: Tax-avoiding firms sell developing world short

Outlook That's not to excuse businesses from paying the low levels of corporation tax levied in the UK. The problem is too many treat it as an optional charge payable only by those who don't have accountants smart enough to avoid it.

Farid Mammadov of Azerbaijan came second in this year's Eurovision

Eurovision tightens voting rules to combat bribery after Azerbaijan allegations

The Eurovision Song Contest has introduced new rules to combat bribery after supporters of Azerbaijan’s entry were accused of buying votes at this year’s event.

Now Amazon embroiled in EU tax probe

Amazon is under threat of being subjected to a fresh tax inquiry, it has been reported. The online retail giant has been dogged by controversy over its UK tax affairs and is now said to be in the sights of European regulators.

Ikechi Anya celebrates his goal

International round-up: Ikechi Anya shines in Scotland win as Michael O'Neill humbled

Shaun Maloney lifted Scotland off the bottom of their group when he grabbed a late winner against Macedonia in Skopje but it was Ikechi Anya who impressed most, the Watford winger inspiring Gordon Strachan's side to victory.

Martin Paterson celebrates for Northern Ireland after scoring against Russia

World Cup qualifier: Luxembourg v Northern Ireland match preview

A look ahead to tonight's World Cup qualifier in Stade Josy Barthel

Colao eyes windfall from $130bn Vodafone deal with Verizon Wireless

Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao could be in line for a £5.5m personal windfall from the sale of its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless to America’s Verizon Communications.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment