Breakfast politics briefing: Parents need education on smacking ban | SNP 'can win independence next year'

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon
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Welcome to The Scotsman’s morning politics briefing. Here’s all you need to know for the day ahead.

Parents need education on landmark smacking ban

Anton Muscatelli

Anton Muscatelli

Legal experts have called for a major campaign of public education to inform parents after Scotland became the first part of the UK to pass a law banning the smacking of children.

John Finnie MSP, who spearheaded the initial legislation, hailed the vote in Holyrood as 'historic and courageous', offering children equal protection in the law from assault as adults receive.

Morag Driscoll, the Law Society of Scotland's Family Law Committee convener, said: "Driving meaningful behaviour change requires much more than just changing the law. The Scottish Government now needs to launch a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign to alert people to these changes." (Full story in the Scotsman)
Sturgeon slams Trump over malt whisky tariffs

Scotland has become an unlikely front in Donald Trump's trade war policy, after the US Government announced plans to slap a 25% tariff on malt whisky exported from Scotland to America.

At First Minister's Questions yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said: "I discussed the issue directly with the Scotch Whisky Association just a couple of weeks ago, and we will continue to encourage the UK government to support a negotiated settlement to this and we support the efforts of the EU to find that settlement.

"It's in nobody's interests to have trade wars like this, everyone ends up being a loser, and the sooner we find a resolution the better and I would encourage UK ministers to work hard to do so." (Full story in the Scotsman)
Experts say Boris Johnson must alter Brexit plans

Members of the First Minister's 'Standing Council on Europe', made up of top academics, legal minds, business representatives and diplomats, say that Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals must be changed.

The warning comes amid a cool reception in the EU for the Prime Minister's 'final offer' of plans for checks away from the Irish border and other changes to the deal agreed with Theresa May's government.

Sir Anton Muscatelli, wrote in an open letter that the proposals have "no realistic prospect of success".

The letter adds: "The UK government's approach risks condemning the country to years of further negotiations with the EU, in a poisoned atmosphere, whilst we suffer the consequences of having crashed out." (Full story in the Times)
Independence will be won in 2020, claims SNP candidate

An SNP candidate for one of the party's top target seats at the next general election has said that the Yes campaign will win a second referendum on independence that she claims will take place as soon as next year.

The bullish claim by Anne McLaughlin, who has been selected to win back the seat of Glasgow North East that she lost to Labour's Paul Sweeney in 2017 by 242 votes, comes as Nicola Sturgeon steps up preparation for a second vote on leaving the UK.

She told the National: "Out on the doorsteps I come across a lot of voters who are moving from No to Yes. Once they have made that move they then see the positive reasons for backing independence, they are saying we can do so much better than this." (Full Story in the National)
Ministers 'more confident of a Brexit deal'

The numbers don't, at first viewing, add up for Boris Johnson to get his Brexit deal through parliament, but Westminster Correspondent Paris Gourtsoyannis has looked further into the details as government ministers appear more confident of a deal.

Movement among hard line Brexiteers and some centrist Labour MPs who believe they have to deliver Brexit means victory could be within reach.

Self styled 'Brexit Spartans' could line up behind the deal, but the X Factor remains the approval of the EU. (Full analysis in the Scotsman)