Breakfast politics briefing: Sturgeon warns SNP rebels there are no 'shortcuts' to independence | BBC must 'make up' for Jo Swinson obsessions

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

Nicola Sturgeon warns off SNP rebels who want independence 'plan B'

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has effectively ruled out a 'wildcat' independence referendum, warning party rebels there are no 'shortcuts' to a separate Scottish state. Ms Sturgeon has reiterated that a legal referendum, similar to the one carried out in 2014, was the only way to independence (Full story in The Scotsman)

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Labour peer blames 'dark times' of Brexit on neoliberal politics

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has sent a warning to SNP rebels

Labour peer Helena Kennedy has declared the world is witnessing an "erosion of the rule of law" as a result of the "politics of the hard man", in an exclusive report from The Scotsman. An expert in human rights law, Baroness Kennedy says British politics is in a "dark place" that stems back to Margaret Thatcher's years in government (Full story in The Scotsman)

BBC must 'make up' for its obsession with Jo Swinson

The BBC has been warned it must "rectify a gross imbalance" in favour of Jo Swinson's party, as part of an exclusive published in The National. The paper has crunched the numbers on the public broadcaster's main political shows run throughout September and says the Liberal Democrats had more than double the number of SNP appearances (Full story in The National)

Brexit secretary returns to Brussels after 'promising' UK-Ireland talks

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay will meet the EU's chief negotiator later today after Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart yesterday agreed they could "see a pathway to a possible deal". Mr Barclay and the EU's Michel Barnier will hold talks this morning (Full story at the BBC)

Pound soars amid hopes of Brexit breakthrough

The British pound rose against the American dollar and the euro yesterday evening over hopes a deal might be reached with the European Union ahead of the 31 October Brexit deadline. Sterling climbed as much as 1.9 per cent against the dollar (Full story in the Scottish Daily Mail)

On today’s agenda

- Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay will meet with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels this morning

- The National Police Chiefs Council will give a briefing on police preparedness for leaving the EU at 1pm