Scottish independence: 'I will respect referendum result', says Juncker

Juncker and Barroso Jean-Claude Juncker (right) is expected to replace Jose Manuel Barroso (left) as the president of the EU Commission

The president-designate of the EU Commission is reported to have said he would respect the result of Scotland's referendum.

On Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker met with a group of MEPs.

Mr Juncker told them he was "in favour of democratic expressions" and would respect Scotland's decision.

However, in answer to a question about Catalonia and Scotland joining the EU, he said "one does not become a member of the EU by writing a letter".

Mr Juncker was questioned about his position on the Scottish independence referendum, due to take place in September, by Catalan MEP Josep Maria Terricabras.

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  • A referendum on whether Scotland should become independent is to take place
  • People resident in Scotland will be able to take part in the vote, answering the "yes/no" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
  • The referendum will take place on Thursday 18 September, 2014
  • Go to the BBC's Scotland Decides page for analysis, background and explainers on the independence debate.
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The official is reported to have said: "I am in favour of democratic expressions, but I'm not so arrogant to pre-empt the debate.

"I will respect the result of Scotland's referendum."

He added: "One does not become a member of the EU by sending a letter."

In a later meeting, Mr Juncker was asked by Scottish UKIP MEP, David Coburn, whether an independent Scotland would remain in the EU.

Mr Juncker replied: "I have to say that of course it's up to the UK to deal with this question.

"Mr Van Rompuy and Mr Barroso have already answered the questions about EU membership. I have nothing to add."

In February, the current EU Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, said an independent Scotland's entry to the EU would be "extremely difficult".

He said: "In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state it will have to apply.

"Of course it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from one member state."

'Facts are clear'

Alyn Smyth, SNP MEP who attended the meeting with Mr Juncker, said the comments showed "refreshing common sense".

Mr Smyth said: "Mr Juncker is playing it straight.

"He's shown he will respect the democratic process, and then deal with the choice of the people of Scotland.

He added: "We can do business with Mr Juncker, which is more than can be said for his predecessor."

A Better Together spokesman said: "The facts are clear - if we leave the UK then we would need to reapply to join the EU, on terms much less favourable to those we enjoy today.

"As part of the UK we have special EU deals that would be put at risk if we went our separate ways. Where is the sense in putting that at risk?"

Mr Juncker is expected to become president of the EU Commission in November.

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  8.  
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  10.  
    @KennyFarq 16:45:

    Kenny Farquharson (Deputy Editor of the Scotsman) tweets: Oh Lord, please spare us the sight of Alex Salmond in a wet t-shirt.

     
  11.  
    16:39:

    Alex Salmond tweets: I'm up for the #IceBucketChallenge - invigorating for the campaign! But Scottish media beware what you wish for - who will I nominate...?

     
  12.  
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    Former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish has denied claims by the pro-Union Better Together campaign that he will endorse independence.

    Asked about the claim, Mr McLeish said: "The two words you are looking for are 'absolute rubbish'.

    Henry McLeish

    "I've no idea what they are up to, what they are doing, but I can tell you very categorically there is no truth whatsoever, it's absolute rubbish."

     
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    16:32: Serious crime raid

    Several people have been detained in Renfrewshire by police investigating serious and organised crime.

    A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said officers were involved in an ongoing operation in French Street in Renfrew.

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    It is understood that armed officers arrived in the Renfrew area at about 12:45 today.

     
  14.  
    16:22: Bike stolen from Maggie's centre

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    The Giant Boulder Shock bike was taken from the garden of the Maggie's Highlands centre at Raigmore Hospital.

    Maggie's Centre Inverness

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  15.  
    16:11: McColl 'best placed' for shipyard bid

    A spokesman for the Easdale brothers, who have tabled a bid for the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow, said they felt Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers would be best-placed to take over the Ferguson yard.

    He said: "Sandy spoke to Jim at length this morning and his plans for hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds in investment are exactly what Inverclyde needs.

    "We are informed that our bid is competitive and has reached the shortlist, but we feel that Jim McColl is better equipped to take the yard forward.

    "We said all along that we would step aside if somebody with an engineering pedigree and access to markets wanted to get involved."

     
  16.  
    @BBCSportScot 16:06:

    Coming up on @BBCRadioScot #Newsdrive from 1600: More on the fall-out from the allegations against #MalkyMackay

     
  17.  
    15:59: Salmond's soaking

    A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Happy to confirm that the first minister has accepted the ice bucket challenge! Time and place to be confirmed - watch this space……."

     
  18.  
    15:54:

    The leader of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, tweets: Here's the video of my #IceBucketChallenge, make sure you donate at gordonsfightback.com

     
  19.  
    15:50: Crash victim

    A man killed in a crash on an Aberdeenshire road has been named as a "wonderful" 77-year-old grandfather.

    Douglas Bruce

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  20.  
    15:44: Cold water

    A better picture of Alistair Darling being soaked in the #IceBucketChallenge.

    alistaor darling

    Scottish actor James McAvoy nominated Mr Darling and his fellow "political champion" Alex Salmond to take part. It is understood the first minister will get a cold shower soon.

     
  21.  
    15:38: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Henry McLeish denies he is coming out for Yes, telling the BBC that when people ask him, he still says he is voting no.

     
  22.  
    15:34: McLeish to endorse 'Yes'?

    Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall tweets: Just heard from impeccable source that Henry McLeish endorsing Yes on Monday. Hardly a surprise but he's entitled to his view.

     
  23.  
    15:30: Single energy market 'would continue'

    There are "robust" indications that a single British energy market would continue in the event of Scottish independence, according to a renewable energy investor.

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    The group has about a quarter of its portfolio in Scotland.

    Lightbulb

    The cost of energy bills has been a hot topic throughout the referendum debate - you can read an analysis of each side's claims here.

     
  24.  
    15:19: Wetter together

    We've just heard from a very reliable source (BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor) that First Minister Alex Salmond will be facing the #IceBucketChallenge in the very near future...

     
  25.  
    15:14: Bucket list

    Alistair Darling tweets: Just took the #IceBucketChallenge for gordonsfightback.com. Video coming soon... Thanks James McAvoy.

    darling
     
  26.  
    15:00: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In Edinburgh, one lane of the A720 City Bypass is blocked westbound by an accident between Baberton and Calder. The inside lane is blocked just before the Calder Roundabout so take care.

    In Perth and Kinross, there are long delays on the southbound A9 just north of Auchterarder. Traffic is tailing back for more than a mile. There in one lane closed in each direction for roadworks and delays are likely both ways

    In Glasgow on the M80, an earlier accident has been cleared from the stretch of road at Castlecary, but be prepared for slow traffic there. The road had been closed.

     
  27.  
    14:52: Evening Telegraph
  28.  
    14:44:

    Former First Minister Henry McLeish says voting "No" in the independence referendum "has become difficult" but insists he will still do so.

    henry mcleish
     
  29.  
    14:37: Brown warning on public services

    Former prime minister Gordon Brown urged Scots not to back independence as he warned that public services would suffer should the country vote "Yes" in next month's referendum.

    Gordon Brown

    Speaking at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, he said: "£2.9bn in oil revenues to pay for £40bn of expenditure just on education, health, pensions and the rest of the welfare state.

    "The oil revenues, to be honest, are a fraction of what we need to pay for our public services."

    Mr Brown also attacked Scottish government plans for a currency union with the rest of the United Kingdom.

     
  30.  
    14:29: Land ahoy! Laura Bicker Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    I've arrived in Inverness at the end of my canal trip. Tune in to Reporting Scotland at 18:30 when I'll be looking at the issue of university tuition fees in an independent Scotland.

    Laura Bicker on a canal boat
     
  31.  
    14:21: Transfer hopes

    Hamilton Accies player-manager Alex Neil would like to try to add a centre-back and a winger to his squad by the end of the month.

    Alex Neil

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    14:12: Mural painting

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    mural
     
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    glasgow city

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    14:00: The Press and Journal

    Refusal of wind farm welcomed by campaigners.

    Residents and wild land campaigners have declared a "victory" after the Scottish government refused a controversial proposal to build 34 turbines and 20 miles of access tracks in the hills between Ardross and Ardgay as part of the Glenmorie Wind farm.

     
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    13:53: Delivery van theft

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  36.  
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    Kingsbarns Links

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    13:37: Speeding ban The Herald

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  38.  
    13:33: Football latest

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    Stefan Scepovic

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  40.  
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  41.  
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  42.  
    13:11: Edinburgh Evening News

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    Edinburgh Evening News
     
  43.  
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    Clydeside Expressway

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  44.  
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  45.  
    @BBCAndrewBlack 12:43:

    Thursday's Referendum Tonight, with the latest from the #indyref campaign and views from home and abroad is available on the iPlayer now.

     
  46.  
    12:38: Referendum round-up

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  47.  
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  48.  
    @STVRaman 12:26:

    STV v BBC cricket match on Sunday for @STVAppeal. @STVPaul & I got tips from @CricketScotland. Watch report tonight.

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  49.  
    12:13: Your pictures

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    Lighthouse

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  50.  
    Text 80295 11:53: Glasgow's Big G - your views

    We're asking where you think Glasgow's Big G should be moved to. Read the story here.

    John P Jones: I think it should stay where it is, at the heart of Glasgow.

    Give us your view by texting 80295, emailing here or using twitter #ScotlandLive.

     
  51.  
    11:49: Homeless hotel Evening Express

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  52.  
    11:41: The Press and Journal

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  53.  
    11:32: Where is Glasgow's Big G-spot?

    Glasgow City Council has revealed that the Big G used to mark the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games will move from George Square to an as yet undisclosed permanent home. Where do you think it should go, and why?

    Tell us by texting 80295, email us here or tweet us using #ScotlandLive.

    Glasgow's Big G
     
  54.  
    11:23: Shipyard bids

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  55.  
    Weekend outlook 11:14: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

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  56.  
    11:07: Ice bucket challenge

    In a video posted online, Scottish film star James McAvoy says: "I'd like to thank my ex-friend Jose Mourinho for nominating me for the ice bucket challenge.

    "I'm doing it to raise awareness of ALS, or as it is known in Britain, motor neurone disease.

    James McAvoy

    "And, as it is the year of the Scottish referendum, I'd like to nominate our political champions Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond to do their very most."

    And as the ice water pours over him, he says: "Alex/Alistair - you have got 24 hours".

     
  57.  
    10:52: Abuse crackdown

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  58.  
    10:47: Downs syndrome - your views

    Prof Richard Dawkins has been criticised for his view that it may be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if she knows the baby would be born with Downs syndrome.

    Colin in Greenock: The problem with Richard Dawkins view is that it turns human beings into commodities, items of convenience. No room for the less than perfect. There is no compassion or love in his stance. Do we really want our society to be like that?

    Anonymous: Dawkins and eugenics - wrong connection. Eugenics deals with hereditary disorders, Downs is not. Personally I applaud Dawkins for bringing the obvious unspoken to the fore.

    Angela Mackay: I have a little girl who was born with Down syndrome. We were never given the option to find out of she had DS or not. If we had we wouldn't have aborted her we would have been better equipped to deal with the shock of her birth. At eight months she is achieving milestones and brings the same joy, love and happiness her two older siblings do.

    Steve from Aberdeen: As a father of four healthy children I can only applaud anyone who cares for a child with special needs. I do however agree with Prof Dawkins as it would take a special kind of person to take on the challenges associated with downs syndrome. I don't think I could ever do it.

     
  59.  
    10:40: Body find

    Police Scotland have confirmed the identity of the woman whose body was found close to Hungladder on the Isle of Skye on Sunday evening.

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  60.  
    10:31: Shipyard rescue

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    jim mccoll
     
  61.  
    10:27:

    Yes Scotland tweets: Saying "thank you" to the one million people who have signed the Yes Declaration #indyref#thanksamillion.

    THanks a million
     
  62.  
    10:21: Big G move

    The Big G in Glasgow's George Square, which marked the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, is to be given a new permanent outdoor display site.

    But the city council has not yet revealed where it will be located.

    big g

    Work will begin on Monday to dismantle it. It will then be strengthened and the metal will be treated to make it fit to be permanently displayed outdoors.

    Alongside the Big G, Glasgow City Council is looking into new homes for the 25 Clyde statues around the city.

     
  63.  
    10:15: Morning Call BBC Radio Scotland

    We're currently discussing Prof Richard Dawkins's controversial comments that it may be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if she knows the baby would be born with Down's syndrome.

    Prof Dawkins justified his statement by saying that he was expressing a scientific opinion which reflected what actually happened most of the time.

    Do you agree? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  64.  
    Text 80295 10:05: Banter - your views

    When does banter become unacceptable?

    John Hall, Ayr: Those offended need a reality check. Obviously his comments are not pleasant and I don't share his bigotry, but privacy is the important thing here. The right to freedom of speech must be paramount.

    Mark in Cumbernauld: I have sent and received many texts that could be deemed as offensive but there was always humour in them. I don't see where the humour is in Malkys texts. That to me is the difference, they are not humorous but offensive.

    Craig: People who use such terms and consider it banter need to look at their own morality. Are these texts private? Not if sent using a phone paid for by his employer in which case they are the property of his employer.

    What do you think? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

     
  65.  
    09:56: HSBC chief warns of 'capital flight'

    Uncertainty over currency in an independent Scotland could lead to "capital flight" from the country, according to the chairman of HSBC.

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Douglas Flint warned that a "Yes" vote in next month's referendum could leave Scotland's financial system in a "parlous state".

    Mr Flint, who describes himself as an exiled Scot, said the sterling currency union was an "anchor of financial stability" for Scotland.

    The three main parties at Westminster have all ruled out the Scottish government's preferred option of a formal currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

     
  66.  
    09:48: James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Campaigners for Scottish independence say more than a million people have signed a declaration in favour of a "yes" vote.

     
  67.  
    09:44: Lightbulb moment

    A village in the Highlands is to host an open access wi-fi zone in a pilot project aimed at boosting internet services for businesses and tourists.

    The zone should be up and running in Brora by the end of the month.

    Science Photo Library

    But this isn't the first time the village, which is home to just 1,300 people, has been at the forefront of technological innovation - find out here why it's been dubbed Electric City for more than a century.

     
  68.  
    09:36: Flu jag

    Every child in Scotland aged 2-11 will be offered the flu vaccine from this autumn as part of a new immunisation programme.

    Children are two to three times more likely to be ill with flu than adults.

    So about 150,000 children aged two to five and 400,000 primary school children will be offered flu vaccination in 2014/15 to help protect them and reduce the risk of flu being spread to others.

    The vaccine will be given as a nasal spray.

     
  69.  
    09:23: Scots sprinter wins second gold

    Teenage sprint sensation Maria Lyle claimed her second gold medal at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea.

    Maria Lyle

    The Scot, 14, won T35 100m gold on Wednesday, had an equally comfortable win in the 200m event in 31.05 seconds.

    "I'm really pleased, even though the time wasn't as fast as I would have liked," she told BBC Sport.

     
  70.  
    Text 80295 09:13: Banter - your views

    When does banter become unacceptable?

    Al from Strathaven: Here we go again. How easily offended the easily offended are! I doubt there is anyone listening who has not received or indeed sent an iffy text. Do the thought police now stop us telling the old jokes about the Scotsman, Englishman and Irishman. Its pathetic!

    Tommy in Ardrossan: Think the attitudes expressed by the texts are offensive and outdated but how did someone get hold of the private texts? Who dug them up who released them and why?

    Darren D ‏via Twitter: I'm not supporting Mackay but life would be v dull without banter.

    What do you think? Call 0500 92 95 00, email your views here or text us on 80295.

     
  71.  
    08:58: Jean Redpath tribute

    Scottish singer Jean Redpath has died, aged 77.

    Scottish singer and songwriter Sheena Wellington told Good Morning Scotland Jean was the "foremost ambassador for Scottish traditional song for more than 50 years".

    jean redpath

    Wellington said: "She brought back lots of songs that had been lost in the mists of time and performed with such grace and humour."

    She said Jean had brought Scottish traditional music to an American audience.

    "She would walk on stage and smile at the audience and that was it, they were won over. She believed implicitly in what she was doing."

     
  72.  
    08:51: Morning Call BBC Radio Scotland

    Former English Premier League football manager Malky Mackay has apologised for sending disrespectful text messages.

    On Morning Call, Kaye Adams asks: When does banter become unacceptable?

    malky mackay

    Tell us what you think by calling 0500 92 95 00, texting 80295 or emailing. The lines are open now.

    You can listen live to the debate here.

     
  73.  
    08:43: Ferguson's shipyards

    The first minister is due in Port Glasgow this morning to meet the workers laid off when the Ferguson's shipyard went into administration a week ago.

    The deadline for interested parties to table bids for the yard was up at 5pm last night.

    This morning it has emerged that the engineering tycoon - Jim McColl- has thrown his hat in the ring.

    The chairman of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions - Jim Moohan - told Good Morning Scotland he welcomed the interest that was being shown in the yard.

    He said: "I'd be very confident a very successful businessman like Jim McColl could develop a strategy and vision to put the yard in a very competitive place."

     
  74.  
    08:35: Newspaper review

    The front pages of Scotland's newspapers carry stories of the referendum, shipbuilding on the Clyde and Paul Gascoigne, as well as the situation in Iraq.

    newspapers

    You can see our newspaper review here.

     
  75.  
    08:28: What is tidal power?

    The director of the group behind a major tidal power project in the Pentland Firth said Scotland is now a world leader in tidal power.

    Tim Cornelius explained to Good Morning Scotland what tidal does and how it works.

    He said: "It is like an underwater windmill.

    "So just picture a turbine with three blades that goes underwater and literally the turbines rotate as the current comes in and the current goes out.

    "Big advantage of tidal power is it is completely submerged so you don't see it and you don't hear it."

    Mr Cornelius said the energy production from tidal was constant and high-predictable.

     
  76.  
    08:22: Power from the sea

    The construction of a major tidal energy project is set to begin later this year in the Pentland Firth.

    It has been announced that the MeyGen scheme has secured £50m in funding.

    Of that, more than £20m will come from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    Atlantis CEO and MeyGen director Tim Cornelius. told Good Morning Scotland: "This is now the largest tidal power project, what we call free stream tidal power, certainly in Europe, if not the world. So, it certainly puts Scotland on the map as now being the world leader in free stream tidal power."

     
  77.  
    08:15: School gate

    The Independence referendum campaigns are being barred from most schools in Scotland ahead of polling day, BBC research finds. Read the story here.

     
  78.  
    08:10: GP websites

    Too few GPs have a website or allow appointments to be booked online, according to Reform Scotland. Read the story here.

    doctors
     
  79.  
    08:06: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Edinburgh M8 - eastbound delays between J2 Claylands and J1 Hermiston Gait

    In Edinburgh, Leith Walk - the traffic lights are out of action at Annandale Street, take care through the junction

    Glasgow M8 - looking slow eastbound around junction 22 Plantation

    That's true of the Glasgow-bound M77 at junction 2 Barrhead Road

     
  80.  
    08:02: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    It is a chilly start across most places this morning. A lot of dry and bright weather to come for many, with some good spells of sunshine - particularly across the southern half of the country.

    Some showers around through parts of the north - the most frequent of which are found in the North West Highlands, and across Aberdeenshire.

    Some showers are feeding down the west coast too.

    Showers will continue through the day, becoming more extensive down the east coast this afternoon - with perhaps the odd rumble of thunder in among them.

    Temperatures around 16/17C in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Further north, closer to 14/15C - still on the cool side for the time of year.

     
  81.  
    08:00: Steven Brocklehurst BBC Scotland news website

    Good morning and welcome from the Scotland Live team and our rolling live text service of news, sport, weather and travel from across the country between now and 6pm.

     

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