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British EU vote unlikely before 2020 if Labour wins power, Miliband says

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa LONDON (Reuters) - A future Labour government would only hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union before 2020 if more powers were transferred to Brussels, party leader Ed Miliband will say Wednesday. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to try to reach a new settlement with the EU before holding an in/out referendum by the end of 2017, provided he wins the May 2015 election.

British opposition leader outlines EU referendum plans

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party on Tuesday pledged to hold a vote on the country's membership of the European Union only if the bloc legislated to transfer more powers from London. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised an in-out vote in 2017 if his Conservative Party retains power at next year's general election, but Labour leader Ed Miliband had not explained his strategy until now.

Firebrand British trade union leader Bob Crow dies

One of Britain's most powerful and militant trade union leaders, Bob Crow, who led strikes that shut down the London Tube on numerous occasions, died on Tuesday at the age of 52, his union announced. A colourful, left-wing Londoner with a dog called Castro and a passion for Millwall Football Club, Crow had been general secretary of the RMT transport union since 2002. He was constantly involved in disputes and campaigns on behalf of his 80,000 members, winning the admiration of transport workers -- and the hatred of many commuters.

Firebrand British trade union leader Bob Crow dies

One of Britain's most powerful and militant trade union leaders, Bob Crow, who led strikes that shut down the London Tube on numerous occasions, died on Tuesday at the age of 52, his union announced. A colourful, left-wing Londoner with a dog called Castro and a passion for Millwall Football Club, Crow had been general secretary of the RMT transport union since 2002. He was constantly involved in disputes and campaigns on behalf of his 80,000 members, winning the admiration of transport workers -- and the hatred of many commuters.

Scotland's Salmond talks independence, but plays politics

By Belinda Goldsmith EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland's nationalist leader Alex Salmond has more than independence on his mind. The combative politician has come to embody self-rule, always sporting a lapel pin or tie with Scotland's white-and-blue crossed Saltire flag. Cartoonists depict him in tartan, his face painted with the flag.

Ex-British PM Brown favors more powers for Scotland, not independence

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown emerged from the shadows on Monday to argue for more powers for Scotland rather than independence, stepping up the opposition Labour party's fight to prevent a Scottish breakaway from the United Kingdom. Brown, a Scot who has kept a low profile since losing the 2010 general election, said he intended to play a major role to stop Britain coming apart at the September 18 Scottish referendum by giving voters an alternative to independence.

Companies gear up for vote on Scottish independence

Six months before Scotland votes in a referendum on whether to become independent from the rest of Britain, major companies are going public on their plans whatever the outcome. Firms ranging from Royal Bank of Scotland to British Airways and Royal Dutch Shell are stating their positions ahead of Scotland voting on whether to end its 300-year-old union with England. British PM David Cameron's Conservatives, their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats and the opposition Labour party have joined forces to campaign for a "no" vote.

British PM followed 'normal process' over Nepali nanny

Downing Street insisted Prime Minister David Cameron had followed "proper procedures" after it emerged Friday that his Nepali nanny had been granted British citizenship. His office said neither Cameron nor his wife Samantha had written letters in support of her application. Cameron faced questions about his use of a foreign nanny after his immigration minister deplored the effects of Britain's "wealthy metropolitan elite" benefiting from cheap migrant workers.

Britain says Scotland split would put Scottish pensions at risk

By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish pensions would be put in danger if voters decide to split from Britain this year, a senior British minister will say on Friday in the government's latest attempt to persuade Scots to reject independence. Danny Alexander, second-in-command at the finance ministry, will say pensions held with Scottish firms would not be protected by British state guarantees in the event of independence and that a new Scottish-only backstop for savers would be costly and less secure.

Shell CEO calls on Scots to stay in UK

The chief executive of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell on Wednesday dealt a blow to the campaign for Scottish independence by saying he would like it to remain part of the UK. Speaking at the company's annual reception in London, Ben van Beurden explained that a vote for independence in the September referendum would introduce greater uncertainty into the North Sea oil industry, a crucial source of income for Scotland and Shell. For similar reasons, he also said that he wanted Britons to vote to stay in the European Union during a possible referendum in 2017.
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