UK's fate in the balance as poll shows record support for Scottish independence


EDINBURGH/LONDON - A poll showing support for Scottish independence at its highest ever level threw the fate of the United Kingdom into question on Tuesday, just two weeks before Scots vote on whether to secede.


Analysis - In countdown to UK election, rate hike moves to centre stage 1:32pm BST

LONDON - Britain's politicians and central bankers are watching one another even more closely than usual as the timing of a national election and a headline-making interest rate rise look set to converge.


An independent Scotland couldn't rejoin EU if it kept pound - British minister 6:12pm BST

LONDON - An independent Scotland could not rejoin the European Union if it used the pound informally, a senior British minister will say on Tuesday, citing a former top EU official, less than three weeks before a historic breakaway referendum.

Child abuse revelations divide "most shameful town in Britain" 2:25pm BST

ROTHERHAM England - Swapping cigarettes and chewing gum, the teenage girls outside Rotherham's Centenary Indoor Market are not engrossed in the conversations students should be having on the first day of term.


Theresa May accuses officials of 'dereliction of duty' in child abuse scandal 4:58pm BST

LONDON - Britain's interior minister on Tuesday accused local authorities in the English town of Rotherham of a "complete dereliction of duty" for the way they responded to the sexual exploitation of at least 1,400 children by men of mostly Pakistani heritage.


Poll predicts first UK parliament seat for anti-EU party in October 9 vote 4:02pm BST

LONDON - Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party will easily win its first seat in the British parliament next month, an opinion poll suggested on Tuesday, after the ruling Conservative party named Oct. 9 as the date for a by-election in southern England.


Parents could be reunited with seriously ill British boy on Wednesday 5:35pm BST

MADRID - Two British parents detained in Madrid for taking their seriously ill child out of hospital could be reunited with him as soon as Wednesday, as legal authorities in both Spain and Britain prepared to allow their release from custody.


London police put their Scotland Yard HQ up for sale 3:50pm BST

LONDON - London's cash-strapped police force put its New Scotland Yard headquarters up for sale on Tuesday with a 250 million pound guide price, as part of plans to re-invest in front-line policing and cut costs.


British parliament rejects Chinese call to halt Hong Kong democracy probe 3:12pm BST

LONDON - Britain's parliament has rejected Chinese calls to scrap an inquiry into Hong Kong's progress towards democracy, a senior lawmaker said, warning that reforms there may violate a 1984 deal on the former British colony's sovereignty.


UK government says confident of argument against Scottish independence despite poll 1:58pm BST

LONDON - The British government has "a real confidence" in its argument in favour of Scotland staying part of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said on Tuesday, brushing off a poll showing a rise in support for Scottish independence.