News

The campaign against Scottish independence must move beyond economics to arguments of the “head and heart”, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

It's all smiles, but the gloves are off in fight for Scotland

A two-year campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Scottish people before they vote on whether to leave the United Kingdom began yesterday as the Scottish and UK Governments signed an historic agreement on an independence referendum.

Steve Richards: The duplicity of referendums

Referendums hover over British politics like a thunderous sky, shaping and reshaping debates, dividing parties and then artificially unifying them, changing history and yet never quite doing so. Referendums are a device that leaders cling to for comfort before they threaten to destroy them. Considering there have only ever been two UK referendums, the plebiscite feels like a strangely ubiquitous device, the mere prospect of one causing as much excitement as fear.

It's all smiles, but the gloves are off in fight for Scotland

A two-year campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Scottish people before they vote on whether to leave the United Kingdom began yesterday as the Scottish and UK Governments signed an historic agreement on an independence referendum.

Editorial: A defence of the Union

It is, as the Prime Minister noted yesterday, an agreement which paves the way for the "biggest question of all". After years of nationalist agitation, and months of political hardball over the mechanics of a ballot, a referendum on Scottish independence will now be held in the autumn of 2014. Given the public appetite for a vote, it can only be welcome that the formal process has finally begun. But to support the right to choose is not necessarily to support all choices, and it is this newspaper's view that Scotland's interests remain firmly with the Union.

The Prime Minister yesterday visited Rosyth Dockyard in Fife, before joining Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, First Minister Alex Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh to sign the referendum agreement

Hopelessly flawed and never quite what they seem - but leaders cling to referendums for comfort

Alex Salmond is reputed to be the greatest political conjuror of recent times. But do his latest manoeuvres prove that the SNP leader has finally run out of tricks?

Callum Jones: A stunt that won't fool 16-year-olds

Personally, I enjoy nothing more than kicking back on Thursday lunchtimes to catch First Minister's Questions from Holyrood. Although I haven't yet had the chance to vote, having only recently turned 18, there is little on this planet more stimulating for me than watching Alex Salmond bicker with MSPs over education, healthcare and the economy. However, for some peculiar reason, political interest among my teenage peers, indeed among the rest of the population, is not high.

Scotland might be hostage to Alex Salmond's vanity, but it's best hope is to remain part of Britain

I will never say my beloved country can't go it alone. But the SNP's leader has made a bunch of ridiculous claims about the prospects for an independent Scotland

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, pictured, has clashed with Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, over marriage

Alex Salmond is 'dishonest on independence', says Johann Lamont

Alex Salmond is not being honest with the Scottish people about the consequences of independence, Labour's leader north of the border said today.

Deal brokers: Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore in talks this month on the referendum

Deal on Scotland vote likely 'in days'

Westminster agrees to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in referendum on independence

Alex Salmond close to deal on Scottish referendum

The Coalition is "close to agreement" with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on the terms of an independence referendum, it will announce today.

The Saturday Quiz answers

Answers to Simon O'Hagan's Saturday Quiz

David Cameron to face Leveson Inquiry next week

David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown are among a string of major political figures due to appear before the Leveson Inquiry next week.

Ed Miliband widens Scottish independence debate

Labour leader Ed Miliband will argue today that the whole of the United Kingdom needs to be involved in the debate over Scotland's potential independence.

Terence Blacker: Elizabethans we would rather forget about

The first Elizabethans had Shakespeare, we had Harold Pinter; they had Sir Walter Raleigh, we have Fred Goodwin; they had Francis Drake, we have Simon Cowell

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'