Q&A: Your Scottish independence questions

Independence composite

The Scottish independence referendum debate is once again in the headlines with the launch of the Better Together campaign, which is against the idea of Scotland going its own way.

Those campaigning in favour of independence have already said they want to retain the pound, keep the Queen as head of state and get rid of the nuclear weapons based at Faslane on the Clyde.

The BBC news website asked for your questions about the future of Scotland, receiving hundreds of replies.Here are the 10 most asked questions:

1) Why do people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland not get a vote?

The referendum on Scottish independence is expected to take place in the autumn of 2014.

What are the current voting rules?

Anyone wanting to vote in a Scottish Parliament election must be:

• entitled to vote as electors at a local government election

• registered on the register of local government electors

For Scots living abroad, the rules state:

  • if you had been registered to vote in the UK in the previous 15 years you can remain on the election register
  • that allows you to vote in UK parliamentary or European parliament election
  • it does not give you the right to vote in local elections or in elections to the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

On the ballot paper, the Scottish government wants to ask voters: "Do you agree that Scotland should become an independent country?"

But who would get to vote? The Scottish government says people in Scotland are "best placed" to decide Scotland's constitutional future, a point with which the UK government agrees.

If the people of Scotland express their wish in a "legal, fair and decisive" referendum, then it would seem unlikely that the UK would seek to block their path.

The Scottish government says the independence referendum would be held on exactly the same basis as the devolution referendum in 1997, which was run by the Labour government of the time.

They say it would be based on the "internationally accepted principle of residence". This means Scots who do not live in Scotland would not be eligible to vote.

The Scottish government wants to keep the same voter eligibility as the Scottish Parliament and council elections.

It also wants to extend the franchise to include those 16 and 17-year-olds who are on the electoral register on the day of the poll, although the UK government, which has responsibility for voter eligibility, is opposed to the idea.

The Electoral Commission watchdog has also pointed out that 16-year-olds may only currently be included on the voting register if they become 17 on or before 30 November that year.

This is because they will subsequently become 18 on or before 30 November of the following year - the period to which the register applies.

2) Will there be a Scottish passport?

Start Quote

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP deputy first minister

We'd have a Scottish passport if Scotland was independent”

End Quote Nicola Sturgeon SNP deputy leader, speaking on 25 January, 2012

Yes, says the SNP, and people would be able to choose to get a Scottish passport any time after independence or at the point when their passport was due for renewal.

Scotland's deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, speaking on a BBC Scotland debate programme in January this year, asserted that on the issue of passports, people would have a choice, like in Ireland.

She said: "We would have a Scottish passport. My passport says EU as well as British citizen and that's the point. We've got right of free travel. We can go to Ireland without a passport.

"People who were born here (Scotland), who live here, who've got family relationships here, will have Scottish citizenship and others would be able to apply for citizenships."

Your Scotland, Your Voice - a white paper drawn up in 2009 by the Scottish government - says citizenship would be based on an "inclusive model".

It talks of "shared or dual citizenship" and says that "as a member of the EU, Scottish citizens would have free access across Europe".

Asked if Scots could have two passports, Ms Sturgeon said: "I'm sure people would have that choice, but we'd have a Scottish passport if Scotland was independent."

Advocate General Lord Wallace (a former Lib Dem Scottish deputy first minister), when asked if the rest of the UK would be happy to issue British passports to Scots citizens under independence, said: "Frankly, I don't know. It's one of the imponderables."

3) Will there be border checks?

Scotland Forward, a more recent SNP statement on how independence would be shaped, says there would be "no checks or delays" when crossing into England, adding that there would be "no customs posts or demand for passports".

What is the Schengen Agreement?

It abolished internal borders, enabling passport-free movement between 25 European countries.

It was named after the Luxembourg town where it was signed.

The deal is now under review, after surges in illegal migration from Africa and Asia, via Italy and Greece, in 2011.

The SNP says: "Scotland will inherit and remain part of the Common Travel Area which has existed between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, for many decades, and means that no passports are required to travel across these borders, as at present.

"European and international travel will be subject to the same checks as at present."

There is one area which could cloud this situation - the Schengen Agreement.

It is a common travel area which numerous European countries are signed up to - but not the UK and Ireland.

If Scotland joins the European Union, which is the intention of the SNP, would Scotland have to join Schengen and protect its borders from non-Schengen countries?

Earlier this year, UK Home Secretary Theresa May said an independent Scotland could face "some sort of border check" if Scotland joined Schengen, comments which the SNP described as "scaremongering".

4) Will Scotland be a member of the European Union?

The SNP is in no doubt that Scotland would be part of the European Union after independence.

It says: "Scotland is part of the territory of the EU and Scots are EU citizens - there is no provision for either of these circumstances to change upon independence."

How does a country join the EU?

1.Monitoring and review procedure - Candidates prepare for membership with help of so-called "monitoring reports". Peer reviews cover the most problematic issues which they throw up. Before envisaged accession, the European Commission produces a "comprehensive monitoring report". This serves as a basis to decide on any possible remedial measure to be taken by the Commission, in its role as a guardian of the treaties.

2.The ratification process and accession - Once negotiations conclude, they are incorporated in a draft accession treaty and sent to the Commission for its opinion, and to the European Parliament for its assent. After signature, the accession treaty is submitted to the member states and to each acceding country concerned for ratification by them, in line with their own constitutional procedures. When the ratification process has been concluded and the treaty takes effect, the candidate becomes a member state.

The 2009 white paper says: "Settling details of European Union membership would take place in parallel to independence negotiations with the United Kingdom government and would cover areas such as the number of MEPs and weight of Council of Ministers."

However, a document produced by the House of Commons library said there was "no precedent" for a devolved part of an EU member state becoming independent and having to determine its membership of the EU as a separate entity.

It said the question had "given rise to widely different views".

A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond has previously said: "Legal, constitutional and European experts have all confirmed that an independent Scotland would continue in EU membership.

"And how could it be otherwise, when Scotland has the lion's share of the EU's energy reserves, including oil and renewables?

"The fact is that the last major EU expansion in 2004 saw 10 new countries join - six of them smaller than Scotland, and six of which have become independent since 1990."

In May 2012, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told a BBC debate that an independent Scotland would automatically gain EU membership, but did not need to use the euro.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson produced a letter from the European Commission that she said showed the SNP had never asked it what status an independent Scotland would have.

Ms Davidson said: "The fundamental question that the SNP haven't answered when it comes to Europe is that they don't accept, or won't admit, that a separate Scottish state would have to apply to join the EU.

"One of the rules for applying to join the EU is that you have to adopt the euro. That is the law, so it may not be within the choice of an independent Scotland."

Owen Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: "Nobody actually is arguing that Scotland would not be a member and I have certainty picked up no vibe in Brussels that there would be anything other than acceptance of that."

He said the real question was on the terms of joining.

Mr Kelly said: "If an independent Scotland would simply inherit all the UK's obligations, opt-outs, international treaties and everything else, fine.

"But if it doesn't, if that is not what is going to happen, then we really need to know because you are then looking at a period of accession and a period of negotiation."

He said: "If we had the political will I think we could find that out now. We know the terms of the referendum and the timing, what else do we need to know before asking and answering that question?"

5) What would happen to state pensions?

Your Scotland, Your Voice says: "On independence benefits, tax credits and the state pension would continue to be paid as now in an independent Scotland. It would be for future Scottish administrations to deliver improvements to the system designed for Scottish needs."

An SNP spokesman said: "People would get their full pension entitlement from day one of an independent Scotland, that is the government's guarantee.

"National insurance would continue to be paid in line with the current arrangements.

"There are EU rules in place to regulate the payment of pensions in different countries and these would, of course, be followed."

Start Quote

Malcolm McLean

The devil is in the detail of pensions. It's not as simple as it sounds”

End Quote Malcolm McLean Pensions expert

Pensions expert Malcolm McLean, from consultants Barnett-Waddingham, said: "The devil is in the detail of pensions. It's not as simple as it sounds."

He said a change of currency would cause "all sorts of problems" for the division of pension liabilities between Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, Scotland intends to continue using the pound Sterling so that difficulty may be avoided.

Mr McLean said he thought people drawing their state pension at the time of independence, if it happened, would notice little difference, especially if Scotland was an EU member.

He says: "Existing pensioners would probably be treated as overseas pensioners in the same way as UK pensioners living in other EU countries are."

The difficulties, according to Mr McLean, would come with people who have been paying national insurance contributions to the UK treasury.

He said the social security system was based on national insurance contributions, with the details held on a computer in Newcastle.

Mr McLean asked, would the Scottish government set up an equivalent database for Scotland, or would the Newcastle system be used as a base for all UK and Scottish pensions after independence?

Then there is the issue of "accrued" rights, he says, and how they would be transferred from the UK to Scotland and who would be responsible for paying the pensions.

A big problem with state pensions is that they are "unfunded", said Mr McLean.

Despite taking in the money in national insurance contributions, the pensions are paid on a pay-as-you-go basis straight out of the Treasury.

There is no state pension pot to draw on or divide up between the rest of the UK and Scotland, states the pensions expert, who argues the question of pension liabilities is a huge one which still has to be addressed.

On the issue of private pensions, Mr McLean says - although a currency union may remain - the different tax regimes in Scotland and the rest of the UK would be extra complication and cost for pension providers.

Dr Jim McCormick, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, thinks the division of state pension schemes is something which needs to be done "with caution".

He said it was "certainly not something you can do quickly or neatly", arguing that one way forward could be operating different pension pots for pension liabilities from the UK before independence and Scotland afterwards.

He added: "It would make perfect sense for an independent Scottish government to do some cost-sharing with a UK government for people close to the state retirement age. They could gradually move others to a new system. They would want to move with a lot of caution and partnership."

6) What would happen to the NHS?

Health has been an area of government devolved to Scotland since 1999 so the SNP argues it would be relatively easy to continue on the same path after independence. An SNP spokesman also asserted that the SNP would "be more than able to afford to fund vital services like the NHS".

The controversial Health and Social Care Act, which was passed in the Commons earlier this year, does not apply in Scotland.

And Scotland has already gone its own way on issues such as free prescriptions and free personal care for the elderly.

Scotland Forward states: "Independence will allow us to continue to maintain and develop the NHS as a priority service and to ensure it continues to provide world-class treatment."

It adds: "We will continue to maintain close links with the health service in the rest of the UK and throughout Europe, particularly when it comes to the provision of rare and specialist treatment."

7) Will Scotland share services with England?

"Yes, where there is mutual benefit," says an SNP spokesman.

He says: "The key advantage of independence is that it gives Scotland choices, and the ability to decide what is best for Scotland in each and every policy area.

"Under the current arrangements, there are a series of cross-border public bodies, with the Scottish and UK government having joint responsibility.

"Being independent is about building a new, more modern partnership in these isles. It will see the end of the political union, which means that decisions can be taken jointly by the Westminster and Scottish governments rather than by the Westminster government alone."

Pylons Scotland could be part of a UK-wide energy market

BBC Scotland's business and economy editor Douglas Fraser says: "This looks increasingly like being a vital area of dispute in negotiating constitutional break-up of the United Kingdom - the perception that institutions in London belong to the rest of the UK and a new status for Scotland would require new institutions, versus the assertion that Scotland can vote to be independent while demanding a share of the UK's institutional legacy.

"It applies to cross-border energy markets and assets, to cross-border telecom and rail networks, and to the BBC."

In a BBC Scotland interview on 10 March, Nicola Sturgeon, when asked about the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), based in Swansea, said: "The thing about independence is that it gives you the ability to do these things differently if you want to.

"But it also gives you the ability, in discussion with others, to share your sovereignty. And I think the DVLA is one of those things we would sit down and have a grown-up discussion with the UK government and decide that's something we should do."

The Your Scotland, Your Voice white paper raises the prospect of a UK-wide energy market, citing the Nordic countries as an example of "pooling arrangements". It also says a single electricity market now exists between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

8) What would the Scottish Army look like?

Scotland would have an armed forces of a configuration similar to those of nations such as Norway, Denmark or Sweden, says the SNP.

"We would retain all the military bases in Scotland at the point we become independent. The big difference is that we would not have nuclear weapons, allowing us to divert the money currently spent by the UK, perhaps as much as £250m each year, to other, more useful projects."

"Scotland could focus primarily on securing its territory, compared to the United Kingdom approach of having capacity to conduct overseas wars," the 2009 white paper says.

It says Scotland would take part in peacekeeping and disaster relief.

The SNP's long-standing policy has been not to join Nato. However, the party's leadership is believed to be reconsidering this stance.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond says a "Scottish Defence Force" under an independent Scotland would comprise one naval base (Faslane without Trident), one air base and one mobile armed brigade.

UK armed forces personnel could be given some kind of option on terms of joining the new service.

Mr Salmond suggests the SDF set-up is based on the outcome of the UK defence review (which opponents say is odd, given the SNP's previous campaign to retain all three of Scotland's air force bases).

UK Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond says taking British military units into an SDF is "laughable".

Scottish soldiers in Basra Alex Salmond said a Scottish army would not have participated in the war in Iraq

Former SAS deputy commander Clive Fairweather says an independent Scotland would need its own SAS-style squadron, comprising 75 members and taking three years to set up at a cost of £10m. Oil platforms, he argues, are key terrorist targets.

One model of a slimmed-down Scots military operation, devised by Stuart Crawford, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Royal Tank Regiment, and economist Richard Marsh, suggests Scotland could defend itself with a slimmed down military, making savings worth about £1.3bn, with:

• Army one-third size of Denmark

• Navy of about 20 to 25 ships

• An air force of about 60 aircraft, but no Typhoon or Tornado fast jets

• One HQ and two brigades, but no tanks or heavy artillery

• Personnel of between 10,000 to 12,000

Professor Hew Strachan of Oxford University, a military historian and adviser to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), says Scots may wish to leave and join the armed forces in the rest of the UK.

He previously said: "Like New Zealanders who opt to serve in the Australian air force or the British Royal Air Force, or Irishmen who want to serve in the regiments of the British Army, many Scots might find their ambitions better fulfilled in the rump of the British army and so make the move out of Scottish regiments."

Alex Salmond previously told the BBC Politics Show in May 2011 his government would be prepared to share military facilities with the rest of Britain under independence.

He said: "An independent country has its own foreign policy. There's no way on earth that Scotland would ever have participated as an independent country in the illegal war in Iraq.

"That stresses why you've got to have the ability and determination in order to chart your own way in the world so that you don't get entangled into illegal and disastrous international conflicts.

"Many, many countries in the world share military facilities with friendly neighbours and there's absolutely no reason why Scotland wouldn't be prepared to do that."

9) Will Scotland have embassies?

Yes, says the SNP. It would add to the 25 or so overseas trade, tourism and government offices Scotland currently has.

A spokesman said: "At present, Scotland's taxpayers contribute more money to fund UK embassies than many smaller independent nations fund their embassies with.

"A Scottish embassy and consular network will focus more on jobs and trade and promoting Scotland internationally, with benefits for our economy."

The SNP's Scotland Forward document says "too much of UK overseas representation is based on status and power and that's not what Scotland needs".

Scotland already has its own offices in certain strategic overseas locations (Brussels, Washington DC and Beijing) to represent key interests.

10) What would happen to the Union flag?

The national flag of Scotland would be the Saltire (the St Andrew's Cross), says the SNP.

The Scottish Saltire forms part of the Union Flag The Scottish Saltire forms part of the Union Flag

"The flag of the rest of the UK will be a matter for the rest of the UK," a spokesman said.

On BBC's Question Time programme earlier this month, the SNP's Alex Neil said the Queen was monarch in 16 countries and she would remain head of state in Scotland. Therefore he said, the union of the Crowns would remain and, thus, the Union Flag.

He said: "The union of the crowns was in 1603, 104 years before the union of the parliaments. What independence is about is the dissolution of the parliaments not the dissolution of the union of the crowns.

"When Scotland becomes independent, hopefully in 2016, the day after independence the Queen will be Queen of Scots, as she has always been, as well as the Queen of England and the Queen of Australia and the Queen of New Zealand.

"After independence will be self-governing Scotland but we will also have a British dimension as well."

Former Tory Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth says: "The union flag is made up of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom and you can't argue that you are going to break up Britain and have a separate Scotland and still have a union flag."

Can you think of other key questions which need answering? Let us know by sending your suggestions to newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk and putting "independence questions" in the message field.

(Thanks for your suggestions so far, keep them coming in)

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    Friday roundup 22:57: Martin Conaghan BBC Scotland

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    medal composite

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  3.  
    Scotland's medals so far 22:32:

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    • Gold - Kimberley Renicks, judo, women's -48kg.
    • Gold - Hannah Miley, swimming, women's 400m individual medley.
    • Gold - Louise Renicks, judo, women's -52kg.
    • Gold - Ross Murdoch, swimming, men's 200m breaststroke.
    • Gold - Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean, track cycling, men's 1,000m time trial B2 tandem.
    • Gold - Sarah Clark, judo, women's -63kg.
    • Gold - Daniel Wallace, swimming, men's 400m individual medley.
    • Silver - Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston, track cycling, women's sprint B2 tandem.
    • Silver - Stephanie Inglis, judo, women's -57kg.
    • Silver - Michael Jamieson, swimming, men's 200m breaststroke.
    • Bronze - James Millar, judo, men's -66kg
    • Bronze - James Buchanan, judo, men's -60kg.
    • Bronze - Connie Ramsay, judo, women's -57kg.
    • Bronze - Sally Conway, judo, women's -70kg.
    • Bronze - Corrie Scott, swimming, women's 50m breaststroke
     
  4.  
    Braveheart explains 22:31: Via Twitter

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  7.  
    Tomorrow's listening 22:08:

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  8.  
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  10.  
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    daniel wallace

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  11.  
    Relay close 21:48:

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  12.  
    Braveheart Wallace 21:38:

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    daniel wallace

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  13.  
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    flotilla

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  14.  
    Travel problems 21:22: Via Twitter

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  15.  
    Back to earth 21:18:

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  16.  
    21:11: Via Twitter

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  17.  
    Other Games news 21:07:

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  18.  
    He's on his way 21:05: The Herald
  19.  
    Wallace monumental 21:00: Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

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  21.  
    Swimming atmosphere 20:53: Aimee Lewis BBC Sport

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    daniel wallce
     
  22.  
    Medal Haul 20:49:

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  23.  
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    Scottish badminton player Kirsty Gilmour
     
  24.  
    Medley Magic 20:42:

    Scotland's Dan Wallace powering his way to a 4m 11.20s win in the 400m individual medley at Tollcross pool in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Dan Wallace
     
  25.  
    Golden Dan 20:38:

    Scotland's Dan Wallace takes gold in the 400m individual medley at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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  26.  
    Clark's quotes 20:37:

    Gold medal-winning judoka Sarah Clark speaks about her success in the under 63kg category at the Hydro: "It feels a bit surreal to be honest. It's been a long time coming but now it's here I'm so happy.

    Scottish judoka Sarah Clark

    "Self motivation gets you doing this sport at home and on the mat but the crowd here brings additional motivation. It adds a bit of pressure but it's how you deal with that when it counts that matters.

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  27.  
    20:30: Via Twitter

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  28.  
    20:29: Via Twitter

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    Chris Hoy with Graeme Obree and Billy Connolly
     
  29.  
    Ross rules 20:26:

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    ross murdoch
     
  30.  
    Hope sunk 20:21:

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  31.  
    Pool shark 20:15:

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  32.  
    Hockey highlights 20:14:

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    Scotland's women celebrate after 2-0 win over Malaysia
     
  33.  
    Judo clip 20:10:

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    sarah clark
     
  34.  
    Still game? 20:05:

    Scotland's best-loved comedy duo Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill are at BBC At the Quay right now, talking to Kaye Adams about their rise to fame and career highlights ahead of their sold-out Still Game live shows this autumn.

    ford and greg
     
  35.  
    20:01: Via Twitter James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Fed up with lounging in the sun? Then why not come inside and watch our #indyref Review of the Week on @BBCNews at 8.30pm?

     
  36.  
    No headgear 19:55: Via Email

    Jenny Connar asks via email: "Why are competitors not wearing head gear?"

    Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland, left, fights Matthew Martin from Nauru

    In a decision last year, the International Boxing Association stopped the use of headgear in male bouts, citing medical experts who said it would help reduce concussions.

    While female fighters and younger boxers will still use headgear, the boxing association cited medical studies that wearing headgear diffused blows to the head and allowed boxers to sustain more head shots - and potential brain damage - for longer periods of time.

    In the first bout of the boxing competition at the Commonwealth Games, Mathew Martin of Nauru had a large lump on his head from a punch.

    Northern Ireland's Michael Conlan, who won unanimously on points, had blood streaming down his face.

     
  37.  
    That gold is mine 19:42: Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    "I'm a strong wee guy. That gold is mine," proclaims Reece McFadden after stylish win at flyweight over Selby at SECC. He is electric! - and he is in the last 16.

    reece mcfadden
     
  38.  
    Nothing for Robbie 19:37:

    Scottish swimmer Robbie Renwick, who won gold in Delhi four years ago, comes fifth in the Men's 200m Freestyle final.

     
  39.  
    Boxing 19:28: Neil Johnston BBC Sport

    Scotland's Reece McFadden has beaten world number one Andrew Selby, from Wales in the flyweight boxing.

    reece madfaddeen and anderw selby

    "Reece McFadden (left) walked out to The Proclaimers track "I Will Walk 500 Miles" and he's walking off to a standing ovation at the SECC centre after defeating Wales flyweight opponent Andrew Selby much to the delight of the partisan crowd.

    "At 19, McFadden is six years younger than Selby but he produces a mature performance to go through by an unanimous points decision.

    "This lad is popular. The place is packed and the whole arena are out of their seats, some waving Scottish flags, while McFadden, dressed all in red, laps up the attention and bows to the crowd."

     
  40.  
    Swimming success 19:21:

    Women's 50m breaststroke bronze medallist Corrie Scott tells BBC One: "I just can't believe it. I said at the start that the crowd could make the difference between fourth and a bronze and it did there."

    scott finsih
     
  41.  
    Great Scott 19:16:

    Corrie Scott swims to Bronze in the Women's 50m breaststroke at Tollcross.

    corrie scott
     
  42.  
    Judo medal 19:12:

    Bronze for Sally Conway. She wins her medal in the -70kg judo for Team Scotland.

    Scottish judoka Sally Conway

    She won her victory over Sunibala Huidrom of India by penalty. It is not the medal Conway wanted but she gratefully laps up the appreciation of the home crowd.

     
  43.  
    19:05: Via Twitter Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: If Andrew Selby looks up a Scots dictionary for a definition of "gallus" he'll see the name Reece McFadden.

    Motherwell's McFadden has defeated Wales' Andrew Selby on a unanimous points decision.

     
  44.  
    Sport roundup 18:53:

    Closing Reporting Scotland on BBC ONE Scotland in a few minutes will be a montage of the first two days of Glasgow 2014.

    Don't miss it!

     
  45.  
    More sport 18:53:

    Stay with us right through the evening here on Scotland Live as all the action continues at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    At 7pm tonight, there's eight medals up for grabs in the pool at Tollcross, and there's more boxing to come too from the Hydro.

     
  46.  
    18:50: Via Twitter Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: In the boxing ring Motherwell's Reece McFadden is on now against Andrew Selby of Wales. What a welcome for the wee man!

     
  47.  
    Netball win 18:35:

    Victory for Scotland's netball team as they defeat St Lucia 58-30 in the host nation's first match.

    St Lucia had already lost to Jamaica in their opening match.

     
  48.  
    18:31: Via Twitter Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: Gold medal winner Sarah Clark speaks to BBC Radio Scotland.

    Sarah Clark
     
  49.  
    Gold dreams 18:28:

    Here's how the top of the 2014 Commonwealth Games medal table is looking so far, with Scotland just behind Australia and England on gold medals won.

    medal tally
     
  50.  
    Judo gold 18:22:

    Scotland's Sarah Clark has won Commonwealth gold for Scotland in the women's under-63kg judo final at the SECC in Glasgow.

    Scottish judoka Sarah Clark
     
  51.  
    Double trouble 18:22:

    Video action of Neil Fachie and pilot Craig Maclean winning gold for Scotland in the men's para-cycling 1,000m time trial B2 tandem.

    Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean

    Watch the video here.

     
  52.  
    Listen live 18:21:

    For more Commonwealth Games action tune in to Sportsound, live now on BBC Radio Scotland or listen online.

    The programme will have live updates from swimming, cycling, boxing, netball, hockey, shooting and more!

     
  53.  
    Bowled over 18:13:

    Scotland lose 15-7 to Jersey in the lawn bowls at Kelvingrove. The Scots remain top of their section, and face Australia on Saturday morning.

    Lawn bowls
     
  54.  
    Via Twitter Phil Goodlad BBC Scotland

    tweets: Empty but not for long. First boxers enter ring at 1830 with Scottish Flyweight Reece McFadden 2nd up #Glasgow2014

    Boxing ring
     
  55.  
    18:05: Via Twitter

    Scottish cycling champion @NeilFachie tweets: Doping control gold medal selfie! Ah the glamour!

    Cycling gold medal winner Neil Fachie
     
  56.  
    17:59: Via Twitter

    Scotland rugby sevens cap Roddy Grant tweets: Cannot wait to don the thistle tomoro! What an honour and responsibility. Home crowd & loud full Ibrox will be incredible!

     
  57.  
    Lawn bowled over 17:49:

    Scotland's Women's fours are up against it as they trail Jersey 14-6 after 13 ends.

    Bowls at Kelvingrove Park

    You can watch every nail-biting second here.

     
  58.  
    Weather stays great - for now 17:48:

    A fine evening to come with any showers dying away. A dry night will follow with clear spells. Mist and low cloud will continue to feed into eastern coastal areas, spreading inland in some parts too. Overnight lows of 13C.

    On Saturday, a dry start across Scotland and bright with spells of sunshine away from the east coast. Here there will again be extensive haar, this will burn off during the morning.

    Then a change will start to take place. Cloud will increase across the Western Isles with outbreaks of rain starting to push in from the west. It will continue to move inland during the afternoon although eastern Scotland not seeing the rain until evening. Still on the warm side, highs of 25C in the east, around 22C in the west.

     
  59.  
    Travel update 17:45: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In the Highlands, the A87 is blocked between the Cluanie Inn and Bun Loyne due to an accident - this is the road which runs alongside Loch Cluanie and is the route to and from Loch Alsh.

    On the Forth Road Bridge, there are long northbound delays this evening, with half-hour queues on the M9 and 15 min delays on the A90 approach, which is due to a broken down car at the bridge exit.

     
  60.  
    17:37: Via Twitter

    A tweet request from our colleagues ‏@BBCSport: Hazel Irvine wants to hear your favourite Glaswegian words on her @BBCOne show using #weegieword

    Ginkin', boggin', mingin', gantin', honkin' - all useful Glaswegian words for something smelly.

     
  61.  
    Netball latest 17:36:

    Scotland's netball side are currently 24-14 up on St Lucia at the Hydro with the second quarter coming to a close.

    Scottish netball player

    Keep up with the latest action here

     
  62.  
    Gold medal alert 17:32:

    Cycling: Neil Fachie and his pilot Craig MacLean make it five gold medals for Team Scotland.

    Partially-sighted Fachie (left in photo) and partner MacLean were the last of five teams to go in the 1,000 metres time trial B2 tandem.

    fachie and maclean

    The reaction from the Glaswegian crowd raised the roof of a venue that has become renowned for its ear-splitting crowds.

    After the win, Fachie said: "That was the first time I have raced for Scotland so to get on top of the podium in front of a home crowd, it was hard not get teary-eyed up there. It's a special day. We have done a lot of hard training so the fact that it all came together was great."

     
  63.  
    Scots Hockey Win 17:31: Via Twitter

    Tweet from @ScottishHockey: FT Scotland 2-0 Malaysia. Confident performance from our Scottish women with 22 shots on goal! #GoScotland

     
  64.  
    R&A Women vote 17:25:

    The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews will host a postal ballot among members on a motion to admit women to its ranks.

    Carly Booth

    The result will be announced on 18 September 2014.

     
  65.  
    No Bronze 1720:

    There is to be no Scottish medal in the cycling 3,000m individual pursuit as Amy Cure seals the bronze medal, winning her last race against Scotland's Katie Archibald.

    katie archibald
     
  66.  
    NET ACTION 17:15:

    Scotland are also in netball action where they're currently drawing 6-6 with St Lucia.

    Scottish netball player

    Watch all the action here

     
  67.  
    17:10: Chris McLaughlin Commonwealth Games reporter, BBC Sport

    tweets: Rhythmic gymnastics at the Hydro. @TeamWales looking good for medals. #Glasgow2014

    Gymnastics
     
  68.  
    HOCKEY DOKEY 17:09:

    Ailsa Wyllie has scored her and Scotland's second goal as Scotland go 2-0 up against Malaysia.

    Scottish hockey player Ailsa Wyllie

    Watch it live here.

     
  69.  
    QUEUE SKIPPER 16:54:

    Hannah Miley's father has revealed that he almost missed his daughter's gold medal-winning swim at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Hannah Miley

    Miley defended her 400m individual medley title on Thursday night, finishing in four minutes 31.76 seconds to break her own Games record.

    Find out how Hannah's dad skipped the queue to see the action.

     
  70.  
    16:49:

    It's half-time in the hockey at Glasgow Green and Scotland's Women's side are 1-0 up on Malaysia courtesy of a goal from Ailsa Wyllie.

    Watch it live here.

     
  71.  
    Fast Fachie 16:46: Victoria Pendleton BBC Sport cycling expert & former CWG champion
    fachie

    "Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean have worked together a long time and I don't think that was ever in doubt! To make up so much time shows their class."

    connolly and mccconnell

    The gold medal for the Scots cyclist meets with the approval of Billy Connolly and Jack McConnell

     
  72.  
    16:39: Via Twitter

    BBC Scotland bowls commentator Peter Wright tweets: "Scotland's women's 4 playing at Kelvingrove and it is so hot!! What I wouldn't give for some clouds."

     
  73.  
    WHEELS OF GOLD 16:34:

    Scotland's Neil Fachie takes gold at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the 1000m Tandem B2 time trial para-cycling event, with his pilot Craig MacLean.

    fachie
     
  74.  
    16:21: Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: Third and last Scottish boxer today is Motherwell's Reece McFadden from Forgewood club. Seven-time Scottish champ boxes Selby of Wales at 18:35

     
  75.  
    16:20: Via Twitter

    Scotland high jumper Emma Nuttall: "Nails done and ready for Wednesday!" The high jump qualifying rounds get underway at 10:45 at Hampden Park.

    Scottish athlete Emma Nuttall's painted nails
     
  76.  
    BILLY AND JACK 16:14:

    Former Scotland First Minister Jack McConnell enjoys a blether with the Big Yin, Billy Connolly, at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome as the evening's cycling events get under way.

    Billy Connolly and Jack McConnell
     
  77.  
    Crowd love it

    Scotland's Lauren Brash, who is just 15 years old, competes in the rhythmic gymnastics, performing to an updated version of "Donald, where's your troosers?"

    lauren brash
     
  78.  
    Unanimous decision Phil Goodlad BBC Scotland

    Super Heavyweight Ross Henderson is through to the last 16 of the Commonwealth Games Boxing.

    The 27-year-old from Motherwell beat Parveen Kumar in a unanimous decision after three rounds.

    boxing

    Henderson, who is fighting in his second Commonwealth Games, was the busier fighter throughout and, despite being caught by Kumar's solid jab, deserves his place in the quarter finals of the +91kg division.

     
  79.  
    Cable line-up 15:56:

    What has been described as the biggest fibre cable-laying project of its kind in the UK in years has started off the west coast of Scotland.

    cable laying

    The project forms part of the £410m Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband initiative.

    A specialist vessel, the Rene Descartes, will be involved in laying some of the 249 miles (400km) of cable.

     
  80.  
    Murdoch tops poll 15:44:

    BBC Sport did a wee poll earlier today asking for the best sporting moment of the Commonwealth Games so far.

    It seems Ross Murdoch's heroics in the pool have earned him another accolade.

    The gold-winning Scot's tremendous triumph in the 200m breaststroke took 36.7% of the vote, with Alistair Brownlee's triathlon gold taking second on 25.5% and Hannah Miley's gold and record-breaking swim earning her third place, with 11.4%.

    Ross swims again later in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals. Just after 20:00.

    ross murdoch
     
  81.  
    Seconds out 15:21:

    In about 10 minutes, Scotland's Ross Henderson enters the ring in the Men's Super Heavyweight category in the boxing.

    The Blacksmith from Motherwell will be fighting India's Parveen Kumar Parveen in the last 16 bout.

     
  82.  
    15:15: Via Twitter Phil Goodlad BBC Scotland

    tweets from the boxing at the Commonwealth Games: Scotland's Lewis Bensom loses in 69kg category to New Zealander Bowyn Morgan. Huge left in second round doing the damage #Glasgow2014

     
  83.  
    Travel update 15:14: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    On the M9 Northbound, an accident between junction four at Lathallan and junction five at Cadgers Brae is blocking one lane northbound and southbound heading towards Stirling.

    There's Commonwealth Games events today in Carnoustie. Shooting at Barry Buddon finishes in around two hours time, so roads around the venue will be busy this evening.

    In Glasgow it's a busy day with events at the SECC, Kelvingrove, Tollcross and Glasgow Green.

    The Emirates Arena and the Velodrome have restrictions and road closures around each venue.

    Scotrail trains from Helensburgh Central to Edinburgh are not calling at Scotstounhill or Jordanhill today. You can get the low-level service from Glasgow Central if you're heading to events at Scotstoun.

    If you're travelling west from Glasgow you need to use Central Low Level, while eastbound travellers should use Argyle Street Station.

    From today, there will be no parking along the Commonwealth Games Marathon route.

    Don't forget, the Wickerman Festival is on this weekend at Kirkudbright in East Kirkcarswell so expect heavy traffic on all routes, especially the A75.

     
  84.  
    Rhythm is gonna get ya 15:10:

    Team Scotland's Lauren Brash is in the rhythmic gymnastics all-round final. Watch it here

    lauren brash
     
  85.  
    Squashed hopes 15:02:

    Not a happy 28th birthday for Scotland's Alan Clyne. He has lost out in the last 16 of the Men's squash. England's number one Nick Matthew beat Clyne 3-0.

     
  86.  
    Hotel sold 14:56:

    One of Edinburgh's most prestigious hotels, The Roxburghe, has been sold to a US-based investment management firm.

    The four-star hotel in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square was bought by Starwood Capital for an undisclosed sum.

    roxburghe hotel
     
  87.  
    In the velodrome 14:47:

    Glasgow 2014: In cycling, Scotland's Katie Archibald has set a new Scottish record in the 3000m pursuit. She qualified in fourth place.

    And Mark Stewart also set a new Scottish record in his heat in the 4000m qualifying. Unfortunately he did not get through his heat.

    mark stewart
     
  88.  
    Panda twins 14:30:

    A red panda at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, near Aviemore, has given birth to twins.

    Kitty's young were born on 15 June, but have only been revealed following the release of images from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

    panda cubs at Highland Wildlife Park
     
  89.  
    A quaich guide 14:08:

    As well as a gold, silver or bronze gong, each Glasgow 2014 medallist is being presented with a special commemorative quaich.

    The presentation quaichs

    The wooden bowls - designed by Glasgow-based Paul Hodgkiss - have sparked interest from TV viewers around the world.

    So, what is a quaich and what are they meant to symbolise about the Games? Find out here.

     
  90.  
    Merchant sizzle 13:58: Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Merchant city in Glasgow is sizzling for the Games #glasgow2014

    Merchant City Glasgow
     
  91.  
    Commonwealth Flotilla 13:53:

    About 250 boats are beginning to gather in Greenock ahead of the Commonwealth Flotilla up the Clyde to Glasgow.

    Small ships, clippers, yachts and working boats will muster at James Watt Dock.

    Flotilla gathers in Greenock

    On Saturday they will sail 17 nautical miles to Pacific Quay, with hundreds of spectators expected to watch.

     
  92.  
    Games lift for bike scheme 13:42:

    Glasgow's recently launched cycle-hire scheme has seen a substantial increase in uptake since the Games started.

    Glasgow bike-hire scheme

    The £600,000 initiative runs at 37 sites - six of which are temporary Games sites.

    The previous high of 421 hires on 1 July has been surpassed by rentals on Wednesday and Thursday this week of 502 and 611 respectively.

    Figures show the lowest number of rentals, 107, was on the scheme's launch day of 24 June.

     
  93.  
    Afternoon weather 13:16: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Another warm day for many of us with plenty of sunshine around.

    Reaching the high 20sC at best again - this most likely around the north west. These high temperatures could spark off the odd sharp isolated shower. Always slightly fresher along the east coat.

    For a full forecast, go to the BBC Weather site.

     
  94.  
    The cost of competing 12:56:

    Scotland's Commonwealth gold-winning sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks have been speaking to BBC Scotland's Jane Lewis about their big wins yesterday and also funding in judo.

    Kimberley and Louise Renicks

    The duo revealed they have spent around £25,000 competing in their chosen sport.

     
  95.  
    'No question' over Arrow smoke 12:48:

    There was "no question" the Red Arrows would change the colour of smoke trails to represent the Scottish flag at the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says.

    Read arrows

    It follows reports the RAF aerobatic team was forced to change its smoke from blue and white to its usual red, white and blue at the last minute.

    Read the full story here.

     
  96.  
    Scots record breaker 12:39:

    Katie Archibald broke Scottish record in qualifying for women's 3000m individual pursuit and will take on Australian Amy Cure for the bronze medal at about 16:55.

    Katie Archibald
     
  97.  
    Games boost? 12:29:

    Irn Bru maker AG Barr has said it is on track to outperform Britain's overall soft drinks market, with a 5.6% rise in first-half revenue.

    Irn-Bru cans

    The Cumbernauld-based firm, which is one of the sponsors of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is expecting sales of £135m in the six months to the end of July.

     
  98.  
    Swimming success 12:18:

    Team Scotland swimmers are continuing to do well in the pool.

    Dan Wallace set a new British and Commonwealth record in the heats of the 400m medley, while Robbie Renwick, below, the Commonwealth 200m freestyle champion, qualified for the event's final.

    Robbie Renwick

    You can watch all the latest action in the pool live on the BBC Sport website.

     
  99.  
    Wales hurdler out following dope test 12:09:

    Team Wales 400m hurdler Rhys Williams is out of the Games after being charged with an anti-doping violation.

    Rhys Williams

    The 30-year-old former European champion says he is "utterly devastated" and denies knowingly taking any banned substance.

     
  100.  
    Pictures of the week 11:55:

    Check out a selection of your photographs of Scotland taken between 18 and 25 July.

    Picture of Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony
     

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