Brexit: The business view from Brussels

  • 5 December 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Brussels Image copyright Thinkstock

Europe's politicians can huff and puff. They can repeat the Brexit campaign's dire warnings about the cost of breaking up trade relations.

But when it comes down to it, the business preference for a soft deal will prevail over a hard Brexit, right?

Well, up to a point. There's no doubt that business will want its voice heard. And with the exception of some who want to poach finance business from the City of London, it would like to keep trade routes as open as possible. But not at any cost.

I've just returned from Belgium, where I wanted to find out how things look from the other side of next year's Brexit negotiating table.

What I found was that the voice of business sounds firmly in favour of maintaining the integrity of the single market.

Read full article Brexit: The business view from Brussels

Oil price: fluid, pumped up or sticky?

  • 1 December 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Open meeting Image copyright Getty Images

There's not much point in a cartel that doesn't collude. So after an eight-year gap since it last flexed its market muscle, Opec reassured at least itself that there's life in the old stitch-up yet.

The last two of these years have seen the 14 members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with around 43% of world production, let their production levels fly free.

Read full article Oil price: fluid, pumped up or sticky?

Shipbuilding: hard a-stern

  • 29 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Naval ship design image Image copyright BAESystems/PA

British shipbuilding has been told to consolidate for years. Dependent on Ministry of Defence orders, it has been forced into mergers and closures and brought under BAE Systems.

But now, under a review set up by the UK Government, that whole process seems to going hard a-stern.

Read full article Shipbuilding: hard a-stern

Skyscanner: the unicorn and the dragon

  • 24 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Skyscanner logo

It began with a ski-ing trip to France. Gareth Williams could already boast the rarity of a unicorn, being a ski instructor from Norfolk - a county rarely noted for its downhill potential.

Romance had brought him to Edinburgh. Time off from his software developer role in the Scottish capital was an opportunity to join his brother in the Alps.

Read full article Skyscanner: the unicorn and the dragon

The Brexit bill hits the doormat

  • 23 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland

Philip Hammond Image copyright PA

Before the European Union referendum, then Chancellor George Osborne warned he a "leave" vote would lead to an emergency budget and another round of deep cuts. It turns out that was rubbish.

Instead, he was ousted from office, there was no special budget. His austerity plans have been slightly eased, though in an Autumn Statement more notable for its continuity than any new departures or change of direction.

Read full article The Brexit bill hits the doormat

Unequal Scotland: Baby boomers vs millennials

  • 21 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Naomi Eisenstadt
Image caption Scottish government adviser Naomi Eistenstadt says baby boomers are the last "safe" generation

"My generation is the last generation that is safe," says Naomi Eistenstadt, independent adviser to the Scottish government on poverty and inequality.

"I'm the last of the baby boomers, and I think it is absolutely appalling, the amount of free stuff I get at the cost of younger families, particularly families with children, and in fact working age adults with children."

Read full article Unequal Scotland: Baby boomers vs millennials

How unequal are people in Scotland?

  • 13 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Media captionIf you were to imagine Scotland as 100 people, who would they be?

Throughout the week BBC Scotland news is looking at how equal or otherwise Scotland is. And I'm examining a whole range of issues from pensions and savings to health and educational attainment.


Where do you stand? High earning, or low? Rich or poor? Will it be a long life full of opportunity, or will it be short and without hope of getting out of your circumstances?

Or are you, like the vast majority, at neither end. Are you aspiring to move up the ladder? Struggling to hold on to what you've got? Stuck in the middle?

Read full article How unequal are people in Scotland?

President Trump: All hat, now where are the cattle?

  • 9 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters

It's hard to know where to start with the phenomenon that is president-elect Donald J Trump. But if we're finding it difficult to make that transition, imagine what it's like for him.

On the economic front, he's got some work to do. It's not that the US economy is in such bad shape. It's recovered better than the UK one.

Read full article President Trump: All hat, now where are the cattle?

Sounding out the Senior Service

  • 4 November 2016
  • From the section Scotland
BAE Systems Type 26 frigate Image copyright BAE Systems
Image caption Eight complex frigates will be built, known as the Type 26

Not many firms can offer a job guarantee for at least 19 years. But BAE Systems on the Clyde isn't just any firm. It's the monopoly supplier of complex warships to the Royal Navy.

So when Defence Secretary Michael Fallon arrives in Govan one Friday morning in November, bringing good news about shipyard orders, he's spending big, and long term.

Read full article Sounding out the Senior Service

Plenty more fish in the sea loch

  • 29 October 2016
  • From the section Scotland
Salmon steaks in frying pan Image copyright Thinkstock

We all like a good target. It smacks of ambition and focus to galvanise a team effort. And lots of us like a pan-seared salmon steak.

So doubling the amount of output from fish farming in Scotland is one target on which the industry has agreed, and so can most consumers.

Read full article Plenty more fish in the sea loch