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Published: Jan 23 , 2015
Author: Robin Copland

Jim Murphy, the new leader of the Labour party in Scotland, was interviewed on the radio recently and the issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament was raised... He was asked if the Labour party would unilaterally disarm and his answer was, “no”. The interviewer pressed him on his answer. Murphy responded rather as a negotiator might respond...

Published: Sep 19 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Publishing this on the day the Scottish population votes on Independence, we are no different from any of the other pundits - unable to forecast the result. But we can forecast that whatever the result the Scottish people will lose their ability to function truly as a democracy. This is because whichever side has the majority the result will be extremely close – 51/49, or 52/48 or something similar. In practical terms therefore about half of the population will getting exactly what they don’t want...

Published: Sep 12 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

On 18 September voters in Scotland will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The final push for votes comes as a YouGov poll run by the Sunday Times suggested that, of those who have made up their mind, 51% planned to back independence, while 49% intended to vote no. Looks like the vote is going to go to the wire...

Published: Aug 15 , 2014
Author: John McMillan

On September 18th, Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for 300 years, is holding a referendum on whether to split away from the rest of the UK and become an independent country. Assuming that there is a ‘Yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has a massive negotiating challenge ahead if it is to meet its self-imposed deadline of 24th March 2016; barely 18 months after the votes will be counted...

Published: Jul 07 , 2014
Author: Robin Copland

I honestly do not know how many cities have trams. I know that in the UK, there are a fair few and some of the networks are extensive. Manchester and Sheffield, to name but two, have lines going all over the place and I am aware that Sheffield’s network is so well-used that a major upgrade programme has just been announced. Edinburgh now proudly joins these and, of course, many other European cities in having its very own tram – I was going to use the word “network” there again, but that’s not strictly true; “line” might be a better word. I can tell you without a moment of research and with no possibility of disagreement from anyone, anywhere that Edinburgh’s tram line excels in one area above all others – and that is its cost per kilometre...

Published: Nov 28 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond has announced 24 March 2016 as the date for the country’s exit from the United Kingdom, should the Scottish people (or rather, those people resident in Scotland at 18 September 2014) vote for independence. It is a date redolent with historical significance for the historically-minded, for on that date in 1603, the union of the Scottish and English crowns took place and later, in 1707 on the same date, the Acts of Union were signed creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain...

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How much will this cost me?

It is not often that people recognise that questions such as ‘how much will this cost me’ are in fact an opportunity to negotiate. To my delight however, a client called me yesterday to tell me they did just that.

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