Breakfast politics briefing: SNP accused of hiding referendum preparations | Minister refuses to budge on second indyref question

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

Pro-independence campaigners in Edinburgh. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Pro-independence campaigners in Edinburgh. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

SNP ministers accused of hiding preparations for Scottish independence referendum

The Scottish Government has been accused of attempting to hide its preparations for a second independence referendum after it redacted sections of a letter from its most senior civil servant to the Deputy First Minister.

The advice note from Leslie Evans to John Swinney and Economy Secretary Derek Mackay, has come to light after a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives. (Full story in The Scotsman).

Scotland’s first alcohol-free brewery seeks crowdfunding for product launch

It is an industry which has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years with craft beer manufacturers popping up throughout Scotland.

But the latest firm aiming to corner the market has a major difference – it is Scotland’s first alcohol-free brewery. (Full story in The Scotsman).

Minimum unit pricing has cut Scots alcohol spending

The introduction of minimum unit pricing in Scotland has been successful in reducing the amount of alcohol purchased and consumption by households, finds a new study.

Public health experts say the rest of the UK should now follow Scotland’s lead as the researchers saw a 7.6 per cent reduction in purchases – more than double previous estimates, indicating that real health benefits of MUP could be substantially greater. (Full story in The Scotsman).

Minister refuses to budge on testing 'current question' for any second indyref

The Scottish Government's constitution secretary Michael Russell has doubled down on his refusal to accept the testing of the question in any second independence referendum by the Electoral Commission.

Mr Russell told MSPs today that the question used in an independence referendum would be the same as that used in 2014, and as a result need not be "re-tested". (Full story in The Scotsman).

Trump Turnberry resort singled out in airport’s pitch to US military

Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort is the only hotel named by Glasgow Prestwick Airport in promotional material distributed at private meetings with US military aircrews in an attempt to win their custom, The Scotsman can reveal.

The document, prepared by the Scottish Government owned airport and handed out at ‘closed’ meetings with US Armed Forces personnel, emphasises the “five star” status of the US president’s flagship Scottish property, even noting how it has been “newly refurbished.” (Full story in The Scotsman).

On today's agenda:

- Former Scotland rugby captain Doddie Weir will speak at the Scottish Parliament at a Blue Badge debate, arguing for automatic access to the disability scheme for people with MND.

- First Minister's Questions