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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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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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
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
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