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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    Not great after a late one last night!! pic.twitter.com/pJDc1QIHJm

    Scots to watch 18:50:

    Scotland have been on the medal trail again today and currently sit third on the table with a total of 32 medals, just one short of breaking their record 33 medals, achieved at the 1986 Games in Edinburgh.

    Tonight there are a number of athletes competing who could help push Scotland to a best-ever Commonwealth medal haul.

    At the athletics at Hampden, Libby Clegg is one of the favourites in the women's para-sport 100m final while Susan McKenzie will be hoping to claim a medal in the women's hammer throw.

    You can watch all the action online at the BBC Sport Commonwealth website.

    Please note that online coverage is only available to viewers within the UK.

    Trains cancelled 18:31:

    @BBCTravelScot tweets: 18.12 Glasgow Central to Paisley Canal train - the 18.24 Garscaden to Rutherglen and the 18.35 Paisley Canal to Central train all cancelled.

    Watch Reporting Scotland 18:31:

    Catch up with the day's big stories and how Team Scotland are faring in #glasgow2014 by watching BBC Reporting Scotland online at 18:30.

    Lawn bowls: Scotland v Kenya 18:22: BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: Back at Kelvingrove - the men's fours bowls is under way. The session includes Scotland v Kenya bbc.in/1rY5p7X

    Watch Games' action 18:11:

    It's been a busy day at #glasgow2014. Here's a round-up of what's coming up this evening. You can watch all the action online.

    Scotland's Frank Baines competes

    Artistic gymnastics: team final - Watch live online from 19:00Team finals and individual qualifications

    Athletics: Track and field: Men's round one: 800m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdlesMen's preliminary round: long jump prelimsMen's finals: decathlon 110m hurdles/pole vault/discusWomen's preliminary round: shot/javelin prelims. Women's finals: heptathlon 100m hurdles/high jumpMen's and women's para round one: 1500m T54

    Boxing: Round of 16: Men's round of 16: Light fly, bantam, welter and middleweight contests

    Swimming heats and finals: Men's heats: 50m freestyle / 1500m freestyle / 200m backstrokeWomen's heats: 50m backstroke / 200m butterfly

    Hockey: Wales v Scotland: Men's preliminary round

    Please note that online coverage is only available to viewers within the UK

    Taps aff 17:52:

    The cry on signs at the bowls venue at Kelvingrove had nothing to do with a shortage of water supplies.

    Taps aff sign

    Indeed, it was a warning to the liquid refreshments flowing, especially if the Glasgow sunshine encouraged a bit of au naturel spectatorship.

    Jolly hockey Scots 17:42:

    Scotland's women hockey team defeat Wales 2-0 at the National Hockey centre on Glasgow Green.

    The Scots now need to beat higher-ranked England on Wednesday to reach the last four of the competition.

    Scotland 2 Wales 0 screen grab
    Driver convicted 17:40:

    A motorist who fatally injured a cyclist has been convicted of causing death by careless driving.

    Alasdair Dudgeon was killed near the Kincardine Bridge on 6 January 2013 when James Sneddon knocked him off his bike.

    Mr Dudgeon suffered a broken neck and internal injuries as he commuted to his work at a bakery near Falkirk.

    James Sneddon

    Sneddon, 42, was found guilty of causing the 51-year-old's death after a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and will be sentenced at a later date.

    Games' auction opens 17:37: Via Twitter

    @catrionarenton tweeted this picture.


    #glasgow2014 organisers have launched the official Commonwealth Games auction website where fans can bid for items used in the Games. Items up for grabs include the tartan truck, giant teacakes, opening ceremony flags and banners.

    More than 10,000 lots are available with items from all 17 sports being added every day to the auction website.

    Hailing shale 17:33:

    Scotland may contain "significant" shale oil and gas resources that could provide an economic boost if successfully exploited, according to a report.

    An expert group set up by the Scottish government said it believed the controversial resources could be extracted safely.

    Oil drilling

    And it did not believe there were any major technological barriers to creating an industry.

    However, environmental groups say the report raises a number of serious concerns.

    Fire service accused 17:26:

    The Scottish Fire and Rescue service faces a trial accused of a number of health and safety breaches following the death of a firefighter in Edinburgh five years ago.

    Ewan Williamson died in July 2009 after becoming trapped while tackling a blaze at the Balmoral Bar on Dalry Road.

    The Fire and Rescue Service denies three charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act, including a failure to prioritise the 35-year-old's rescue.

    A further hearing is scheduled for 9 September at the High Court in Glasgow, with the trial expected to last 12 weeks.

    Scotland's gold rush 17:19: Via Twitter

    @BBCScotlandNews tweets: Scotland's #Glasgow2014 gold rush in pictures

    Gold medal winners


    Man in court over pensioner attack 17:08:

    A 23-year-old man has appeared at Edinburgh sheriff court following an alleged attack on an 85-year-old woman in her home in Edinburgh earlier this month.

    Robert Buczek is charged with assault to severe injury, danger of life and attempted murder. No plea or declaration was made and he was remanded in custody.

    Road closed 17:00:

    Traffic Scotland tweets: #A87 *CLOSED* in both directions due to RTC near Sconser on Skye, road is expected to be closed for a number of hours.

    Traffic Scotland A87
    Sore feet 16:58:

    @poulton41 tweets: Rest day for us in Glasgow. Very sore feet. 50k coming out of Hampden and 50k going in. Trying to find some free space on the changeover.

    Shooting bronze 16:45:

    Scotland have another medal on the board as Jen McIntosh takes bronze at the women's Women's 50m rifle prone final at Carnoustie.

    The rifle shooter fails to repeat her gold medal win of the 2010 Delhi Games and finishes third behind New Zealand's Sally Johnston and South Africa's Esmari van Reenen.

    Messi Marshall 16:41: Clive Lindsay BBC Scotland news website

    Bryan Quinn, Carol Duncan and I are with you now for the long haul until after the Glasgow 2014 action finishes for the day.

    Give us your thoughts and pictures #ScotlandLive, by email or by text on 80295.

    Lionel Messi

    You might have heard Scottish gold medallist being described on BBC One earlier as the Messi of bowls, with partner Paul Foster being Ronaldo.

    Alex Marshall

    While a magician in his own right, Tatty isn't exactly as diminutive as the Argentine football maestro. What famous sportsman have you been incongruously compared to?

    Wet Wet Wet in the sun 16:38: Via Twitter

    @BBCthequay tweets: They're queuing already in the sunshine for #wetwetwet at the Quay at 8pm.


    It's no sweet little mystery that they can't stop singing Angel Eyes.

    Watch the action 16:36: Via Twitter

    @BBCScotlandNews tweets: #Glasgow2014 Day Five - up later:

    • Hannay Miley and Ross Murdoch

    • Hammer time

    • More boxing action

    Keep up to date here bbc.in/1oAOCrt

    Fresh from the Tour 16:35: Via Twitter

    @GeraintThomas86 tweets: Well that was the Tour for another year. Now in sunny Glasgow, for the Commonwealth Games @TeamWales

    Mystery withdrawal 16:15: Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    Mystery still surrounds the surprise late withdrawal of British champion Allan Smith from this morning's high jump competition.

    Allan Smith

    Team Scotland have confirmed there's been no doping violation but are declining to release any further details on the reasons why Smith failed to compete.

    His brother, David, did but failed to qualify for the final. However, Ray Bobrownicki is through to tomorrow's final after clearing 2m20.

    Women's hockey: Scotland v Wales 16:14: Via Twitter
    Foster's gold 16:11:

    Paul Foster is a four-time world indoor bowls champion but says taking gold for Scotland at Glasgow 2014 along with Alex Marshall is the highlight of his career.

    The Troon man his partner eased to victory by 20-3 over Muhammad Hiziee Abdul Rais and Fairul Izwan Abd Muin of Malaysia.

    Alex Marshall and Paul Foster

    "The bowls Alex played in the semi-final was truly amazing and unbelievable and he's a credit to the sport and today I said to myself 'I'm going to help the big man today'," Foster told BBC One.

    "You want to put a performance in for the final and I certainly did and Alex played a lot of cracking shots as well. We were both on song today.

    "I had said to myself that winning my first gold medal in Melbourne, nothing can take that away, but this is the highlight of my career. To win a gold medal in your home country is just phenomenal.

    "It is very emotional and I'll take this to my grave."

    Olympian returns 16:08: Via Twitter

    @NickHopeBBC tweets: It's time for the return of three-time Olympic medallist Louis Smith for his first major event since London 2012: Artistic gymnastics: Team final

    Murder inquiry latest 16:04:

    A photo has been issued of Stephen McGowan, the 23-year-old who died of serious injuries in a common close in Greenock on Sunday, as Police Scotland appeal for witnesses.

    Stephen McGowan

    They have launched a murder inquiry following the death in the Inverclyde town's Tobago Street at 03:20 on Sunday.

    Scottish gymnasts in action 16:02: Via Twitter

    @ScottishGymnastics tweets: Competing on rings for @Team_Scotland will be Liam Davie, Frank Baines, Dan Keatings & Dan Purvis.

    Are they checking #ScotlandLive? 15:54:

    BBCScotlandNews tweets: Royal fans - Harry, Kate and William join the crowds at the #Glasgow2014 Games

    Prince Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge look at her mobile

    What is the Duchess of Cambridge looking at on her phone? Could she be checking #ScotlandLive? If so, hi Kate!

    Scottish medal hope 15:47:

    There could be another Scottish medal this afternoon as the Women's 50m rifle prone final is due to start.

    Jen McIntosh

    Defending champion Jen McIntosh can become only the third Scottish woman to win four Commonwealth Games medals. Interestingly, her mum, Shirley, is one of the other two.

    Travel update 15:39: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Games organisers have confirmed that extra shuttled buses are currently on their way to Hampden to help clear queues of people at the athletics sessions.

    Royal guests spotted 15:31:

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived for #glasgow2014.

    Prince William and Kate

    Prince William and Kate were seen at the SECC Hydro, where artistic gymnastics is being held this afternoon.

    Have you spotted any well known faces around the city? Tweet us #ScotlandLive with your pictures.

    Hot Tatty 15:17:

    Alex Marshall has won the world indoor bowls title a record five times, but the 48-year-old was bubbling with delight at winning pairs gold with Paul Foster at Glasgow 2014.

    "Obviously over the moon, but I must say Paul Foster was absolutely relentless the first 10 ends," the Tranent man known as Tatty told BBC One.

    Paul Foster and Alex Marshall celebrate

    "It is the best leading performance I've ever seen since I've been bowling since eight year old. He was absolutely awesome and made it quite easy for myself.

    "That's the third gold medal I've had in the pairs and I'm unbeaten in 12 years at the Commonwealth Games, but this is one of the highlights of my career. In front of your home support, you can't beat that."

    Your best moment 15:13: Via Twitter

    @handasdad has tweeted us with their best memory of Glasgow 2014 so far.

    #ScotlandLive - my best moments were Ryan Burton gold and his celebratory leap and Chris Sherrington's roar. Great!

    Send us your thoughts using #ScotlandLive on Twitter.

    Medal table update 14:59: Via Twitter BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: After bowls success, @Team_Scotland are on their highest gold medal tally for a Commonwealth Games. #Glasgow2014

    medal table
    Ahmed through to last 8 14:58: Keir Murray BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: Scotland's Aqeel Ahmed is through to last eight of 49kg boxing. Beat Kenyan Keya in every round. Faces Indian Laishram on Wednesday evening.

    Bowled over 14:57:

    Paul Foster and Alex Marshall are multiple bowls world champions at singles and pairs, both indoor and out, but they are unlikely to have shared a prouder moment than winning Commonwealth Games gold in front of their home crowd.

    Alex Marshall and Paul Foster celebrate

    The celebration from Tranent "Tatty" Marshall was more subdued than his last-bowl win over England in the semi-final, but he and his partner from Troon showed their delight as they confirmed their status as the world's best men's pair.

    They will be in the spotlight worldwide like never before, their runaway victory over Malaysia in the final creating a new Games record of 12 golds for Scotland.

    We await the medal ceremony.

    Inspiring a new generation 14:40:

    For years, Glasgow 2014 organisers have been talking about the importance of inspiring a new generation to participate in sport. Well, you can't get much more inspired than the Brown family from Aberdeen.

    Brown family

    Twins Ollie and Caleb, aged four, and their wee sister Phoebe, two, have been recreating big moments from almost every sport in the Games from the comfort of home, including table tennis, above, cycling, triathlon, rugby, lawn bowls and weightlifting, all lovingly filmed by mum Aly and dad Dave.

    Watch all the Browns' sporting action here.

    Golden bowls record 14:24:

    Scotland achieve a record haul of 12 gold medals at a Commonwealth Games after bowlers Paul Foster and Alex Marshall win the men's pairs, thrashing Malaysia 20-3 in the final.

    The multi-world champion pairing were 17-0 up before their opponents managed a point at Kelvingrove.

    Sportscotland director of high performance Mike Whittingham said: "I am absolutely delighted to see Alex Marshall and Paul Foster secure Team Scotland's 12th gold medal of the Games, breaking the previous best gold medal haul from Melbourne in 2006.

    "Alex and Paul have dominated world bowls over the last few years and to add another Commonwealth title to their collection, especially one as historic as this, is extremely fitting."

    Scotland on verge of gold 14:17: Via Twitter Rhona McLeod BBC Scotland

    Gorgeous day at @Glasgow2014 lawn bowls pairs final - @Team_Scotland on verge of winning historic 12th gold of Games.

    Scotland in lawn bowls final
    Papua New Guinea athlete charged 13:45:

    A weightlifter competing at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is due to appear in court charged with sexually assaulting a man.

    Papua New Guinea athlete Toua Udia, 22, was arrested by police in the east end of Glasgow on 21 July.

    He denied a sex attack charge over an incident involving another man in a toilet at a Tesco store on Dalmarnock Road, near the Athletes' Village.

    He is due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

    Hammer it home 13:43: Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    All three Scots in the men's hammer competition are through to tomorrow's final.

    Mark Dry was particularly impressive, going through with the third longest throw of 71m 62in. Chris Bennett and Andy Frost qualified in seventh and ninth place respectively for the 12-man final tomorrow night.

    Scottish minimum wage considered 13:28:

    An independent Scotland would consider introducing a minimum wage that would rise in line with the cost of living, the SNP has said.

    Scottish bank notes

    The party said it would set up a commission to consider a Scottish minimum wage which would rise "at least in line with inflation".

    The SNP has estimated that 150,000 people could be better off under the proposals.

    But Scottish Labour accused the SNP of promising "jam tomorrow".

    Athlete charged 13:04: The Evening Times

    tweets: NEWS: Games athlete charged with sex assault in Glasgow supermarket

    Read the full story here.

    Hockey victory 12:46: Via Twitter BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: .@Team_Scotland's #hockey men beat #Wales 4-3 in a thrilling encounter! #Glasgow2014

    Muir amazed by Hampden roar 12:42:

    Scottish 1500m runner Laura Muir has reacted following her qualification for the Commonwealth Games final tomorrow. She finished third in her heat this morning.

    "It's absolutely amazing," Muir tells BBC Sport. "Usually I can pick out my mum and dad quite easily, but I'm not sure I can with all the flags here."

    We will remember them 12:37:

    The Royal British Legion has started an online campaign to gather tributes to every Commonwealth serviceman and woman who died in World War One.

    world war one soldiers

    A total of 1,117,077 service personnel from the British Empire died in the war, which began 100 years ago this year.

    The Every Man Remembered database allows people to commemorate relatives or someone they knew, or find a person for whom no-one has yet left a tribute.

    Muir progresses 12:28:

    Scotland's Laura Muir has qualified for the next stage of the Women's 1500m. She finished third in her heat at Hampden, with a time of 4:05.19.

    Ready for bowls? 12:20:

    It is nearly time for Scotland's gold medal match with Malaysia in the lawn bowls at Kelvingrove.


    Men's Pair Paul Foster and Alex Marshall will be hoping to add even more success for Team Scotland.

    You can watch the match from around 12:45 on the BBC Sport website.

    Dinosaurs 'unlucky' 12:09:

    Dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid impact when they were at their most vulnerable, according to a new study.


    Dr Steve Brusatte, of Edinburgh University, said sea level rises and volcanic activity had made many species more susceptible to extinction.

    Maclean through 11:56: Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    Inverness's Jason Maclean is through to the final of tonight's Para sport 100m. He was second fastest in his heat in a time of 12.96, just a hundredth outside his personal best.

    Hammond fails to qualify in shooting 11:43:

    Scotland's defending champion Jon Hammond has failed to qualify for the men's 50m prone final, reports BBC Scotland's Heather Dewar at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre.

    He could only manage 11th place in the qualifiers. Aberdeen's Neil Stirton is through in eighth place with a score of 618.3.

    Hammond won four medals in Delhi four years ago, making him the most successful Scot at a single Games.

    Coming up 11:41: John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Join me on Radio Scotland at midday when we'll be talking all things Glasgow 2014.

    Rosefelo Siosi from the Soloman Islands may have been lapped three times in the 5,000m heats at the weekend, but he was cheered over the line by 40,000 fans at Hampden. Everyone loves a trier, right?

    We'll also be discussing Englishman Steve Way's amazing performance in the marathon just a few years after giving up the fags and fast food.

    You can listen live here.

    Unis 'must elect more women' 11:27: Jamie McIvor BBC Scotland education correspondent

    Scottish universities should appoint more women to their governing bodies or be forced to do so, according to the National Union of Students.

    St Andrews University

    NUS Scotland says the boards are dominated by men and the proportion of women is far too low.

    Read my full story here.

    Shooting disappointment 11:26: Via Twitter BBC Sport Scotland

    tweets: Disappointment for @Team_Scotland 's Alan Ritchie and Alan Goodall - both fail to qualify for final of the Men's 50m Pistol.

    Clegg wins heat 11:13: Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    Scotland's Paralympic silver medallist Libby Clegg ran the fastest time in the world this year as she qualified for tonight's Para sport 100m final. She easily won her heat.

    Clegg and her guide Mikhail Huggins ran with a superb time of 12.23 seconds - just outside her personal best.

    The final takes place at Hampden at 20:00 tonight.

    Your pictures 11:06:

    Peter Wilson from Cambridge emailed this atmospheric Highland shot. He said: "Having driven through the night, I arrived in Glen Affric about 04:30 just in time to see the mist lifting off the pine woods ahead of a day of stunning weather."

    Glen Affric
    'Unexplained' death in Dundee 10:58:

    Police are investigating after a man was found dead near a busy Dundee road.

    Riverside Road, Dundee

    The body of the 40-year-old was discovered by a dog walker at about 09:00 on Sunday at the rear of the sports pavilion off Riverside Drive.

    Going for gold 10:50:

    The Scottish gold medal haul currently stands at 11, equalling the best ever Games total.

    That record could be broken this afternoon when lawn bowls pair Paul Foster and Alex Marshall play Malaysia in the final, which should get under way around 12:45.

    Scotland's lawn bowls team

    The Scottish duo enjoyed a thrilling win over England's Sam Tolchard and Andy Knapper at Kelvingrove yesterday. If you missed it, it's well worth watching the closing stages again.

    Driving to Hampden? 10:43: Via Email

    Most people will probably be using public transport, but Stephen Porteous has emailed us with some advice for those travelling to Hampden Park by car.

    He says: "If you're going to the athletics and live on the south side, drive to Patterton or Whitecraigs (free parking) - 12 mins to Mount Florida by train from there. Sorted."

    The Vic and Hoy show 10:34:

    Sir Chris Hoy is currently in conversation with BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire as part of BBC at the Quay.

    Chris Hoy on BBC at the Quay

    You can watch them chat live online.

    Rally of the Games? 10:29:

    Watch as Nigeria's Segun Toriola produces a stunning defensive display to win a 41-shot rally against Singapore's Ning Gao, in the second match of the men's team table tennis semi-final at Glasgow 2014.

    Segun Toriola
    Watt to leave Celtic? 10:21:

    Tony Watt may be on his way to Belgium, and Motherwell hope to sign a defender from Derby.

    Tony Watt scores against Barcelona

    Read all the latest gossip from Scottish football.



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