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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam