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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Business news

International growth on agenda as Dr Mike Butler addresses Angus Business Week

September 15 2015

A former Angus lad who leads a globally-focused pharmaceutical research firm in America has urged local business leaders to look overseas for new growth opportunities. Dr Mike Butler, a former pupil at Forfar Academy who also attended Dundee’s Kingsway Technical College, delivered the message after flying to his native Scotland from Maryland to give the keynote address at the opening of Angus Business Week. Dr Butler told delegates at the event at Carnoustie Golf Hotel that “I passionately believe that everything is manageable”, and said firms should not be scared of looking outwith traditional markets for new growth opportunities. Dr Butler cut his teeth in the sciences sector at GSK in Montrose and later joined Huntingdon Life Sciences UK, as group business development director. His jet-setting career saw him move on to MDS Pharma Services as group vice-president, and as chief scientific officer with Aptuit he worked across Europe, the US and Asia as the firm embarked on an aggressive growth through acquisition strategy. In that period Aptuit grew sales from $75 million to $200m, and significantly increased its geographic footprint from three locations to eight sites globally. In 2008 Dr Butler joined drug research firm Xceleron as CEO with a view to building on its previously limited commercial success. The firm, which uses accelerator mass spectometry to analyse tissues samples, now turns over circa $10m per annum and has a staff of 20. Dr Butler told guests he had adopted an international strategy when building Xceleron and had enjoyed the challenge. “I worked hard but I have never had so much fun in my life,” he said. Dr Butler said Scottish Enterprise trade missions were a good way to broaden horizons and get a sense of what doing business was all about in a different culture where language barriers could be an issue. He said growth overseas could be a worthwhile adventure. “You have to make sure the growth is there and the competitive situation is right (before you begin). It could be that going into a big market is not right. “America, where we are based, is a big market that is growing fairly well but it is hellishly competitive.” Dr Butler said partnerships were key for overseas growth, and the best way he had found to manage that process was to create informal relationships that could later be formalised. “We are in the supply chain for pharmaceutical development. There are clinical trials going on across the world and we have to partner with people who can send us samples. “I would advise doing project-specific contracts together, seeing how that works, putting a master service agreement in place and, if that works out, then maybe work in full partnership.”

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Angus & The Mearns

‘I just burst into tears’ Forfar nursery owner distraught after ‘inhuman’ break-in

January 25 2012

The owner of a Forfar children's nursery has criticised the ''inhuman'' burglars who broke in and wrecked the office. Cherie Butler of Jack and Jill's Nursery in Carseview Road was unaware of the break-in until Monday, when staff found the back window smashed and the office in disarray. The safe had been opened with a crowbar and its contents stolen. The wall was damaged when the thieves tried to rip out the safe, which was bolted to the floor. ''I got a phone call and turned up to work and just burst into tears,'' Ms Butler said. ''I don't understand how anyone could do this. ''It was done some time between Friday night and Monday morning. Me and the girls are really upset. Things haven't been the same for us since Monday.'' Ms Butler said she was thankful that the fees had been banked before the weekend. However, around £300 of fundraising money in various tubs and jars was taken along with lottery money from the staff syndicate and cash for the Loons Lottery. Much of the £300 was raised by staff in their own time at coffee mornings and other events. ''The girls will never get that time back,'' she said. ''And I can't replace all the money that was taken all at once. ''It wasn't just the money that is a blow it's the damage that was done to the walls and the floor, desks getting stood on. We just bought a new computer desk and that was to be paid for out of the fundraising money. I'm just thankful they didn't manage to get it out of the office. "I don't think it being a nursery would have stopped these people. It was inhuman. They even stole the shed key. ''Thankfully the computer hasn't been touched but I think they were only after the money. The business credit card was gone too but I got that cancelled quick enough.'' Ms Butler said she was ''sickened'' that the nursery was targeted. ''I built this business from the ground over the last five years. People assume there's lots of money but I was very close to losing it all (had the fees been in the safe).'' Staff will carry on and are holding a coffee morning for parents on Saturday. Any offers of assistance can be made by calling 01307 461002. Anyone with information about the break-in can contact police on 0300 111 2222 or speak to any officer.

Restaurant Reviews

The Grange Inn, St Andrews (39/50)

May 12 2018

On a bright and sunny day in April, a friend and I took a drive from Dundee, over the Tay Bridge, through St Andrews, and a mere five minutes after leaving the famous town, we arrived at our destination - The Grange Inn. It did not seem possible that, in this short distance, we could have gained so much altitude as the views from the car park alone are something to behold. We stood in wonder even before we entered this cosy inn in Fife as it felt as though we could see the whole of Courier Country and beyond. It helped that the weather was clear and bright and the sea glistened in the distance. The Grange Inn is a maze of nooks and crannies and the dining room itself has a large picture window in an otherwise cosy stone room in order for guests to marvel, as we did, at the vista. There are not many tables and the atmosphere on our chosen lunchtime was quiet and calm. The lunch menu was presented to us and £20 for three courses seemed very reasonable for a place that clearly wasn't going to be serving run of the mill fare. I will say that the main courses were all fairly heavy and wintry but how was the chef to know that the weather was about to do a rapid degree shift from windy winter to sunny spring? Before our starters arrived came the bread. Oh the bread. Made in house, the bake of choice that day was walnut and sultana, which was springy on the inside with a lovely hard crust and on the cusp of being a cake rather than a bread. It was fabulous and we had to try very hard not to scoff the lot, with lashings of butter of course. My first course was the pigeon and blueberry roulade. I love the gamey flavour of pigeon but this creation had a rather more mellow flavour. It was soft and cut like butter and the blueberries lifted the dish with a zing. The vegetable garnish had been lightly pickled and overall this was a delicate and subtle starter. My friend chose the watermelon served with fresh cheese as it had been made by the chef. It was Crowdie-like in texture but without the saltiness which meant it didn't stand out as the star of the show. The watermelon was under-ripe but still added a cool freshness to the creamy Parma ham and toasted buckwheat components. I was aiming for a lighter lunch and so chose the hake which was cooked perfectly. I love hake as it has as much flavour as, say, sea bream but with a chunkier, meatier texture and these morsels were prepared simply to allow their flavour to shine. Plenty of fresh dill was clinging to the new potatoes which sat alongside the confit cherry tomatoes, butternut squash and wilted greens. The dish was completed with a balsamic and chive oil dressing which added a hint of sweetness. I thoroughly enjoyed my plate of food. It was simple and fresh and the combination really worked. Our other main course was the braised blade of beef. No knife needed for this one as the meat just melted under the slightest pressure. It had clearly been cooking for many hours in its red wine sauce, giving the whole dish the depth of flavour one would hope for. The accompanying red cabbage carried a hint of cinnamon and made a lovely contrast with the earthy root vegetables and creamy mash. A hearty and comforting dish. Even on a weekday lunchtime, we decided to push the boat out and sample desserts. As hard as I tried, I couldn't move past the clootie dumpling on the menu and not because of its familiar warming feeling but because of the description of the iced marmalade yoghurt and tea syrup that were noted as its accompaniments. I was certainly not disappointed. The dumpling itself was light but the iced yoghurt simply divine. It had the slightly sour taste that yoghurt does but with the bittersweet flavour of marmalade that would have made Paddington Bear very proud. Using frozen yoghurt instead of traditional custard or ice cream really did lift this pudding entirely and I loved it. Once we had googled Tonka beans, my friend ordered the panna cotta which had been flavoured with these sweet yet earthy pods. Not as sickly as vanilla, the beans suited the creamy jelly really well. The crunchy and oh so naughty honeycomb provided a totally different texture to the smooth dessert and this one too was a winner.   We had been served a lovely lunch by three charming and enthusiastic members of the waiting staff team. From the moment we sat down, it was clear that real time and effort had been taken in the kitchen to cook and serve the food with precision and care. The portions were not overbearing and the presentation elegant. To make bread in house is a real treat for guests but to make cheese as well shows true dedication and flair. The Grange Inn is quirky, cosy and adorable and the setting is wonderful. A lovely spot all round.     Info Price: Lunch: £17 for 2 courses and £20 for 3 courses. Value: 9/10 Menu:  7/10 Atmosphere: 7/10 Service: 8/10 Food: 8/10 Total: 39/50 Info: The Grange Inn Address: Grange Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LJ Tel: 01334 472670 Web:  www.thegrangeinn.com  

Page To Plate

The Grand National

August 6 2016

The National Trust's eateries are renowned for giving a good feed. Following the release of their first fully-encompassing seasonal cookbook, Claire Spreadbury rounds up her favourite recipes When you think of the National Trust, it's likely you picture lush green lawns, meandering walks and family days out. But for me, the cafes serving the unbelievably delicious food are just as worthy a visit as the historic houses and grand gardens themselves. I've been dished up the most delicious Chicken Buknade - a light yet hearty springtime stew - in Liverpool's Speke Hall; tucked into a gorgeously summery Smoked Trout & Watercress Tart in Mottisfont, Romsey, delighted in the Robartes Pie in Cornwall's Lanhydrock and had to stop myself from indulging in a second slice of Sissinghurt's Honey, Walnut & Cobnut Tart when I was on a jaunt in Kent. And don't even get me started on the most amazing cakes they serve at every eatery...   Each year, National Trust visitors tuck into more than 100,000 plates of sausage and mash, almost 700,000 steaming hot bowls of soup and well over a million moreish scones, washed down - of course - with almost seven million cups of tea and coffee. Now that summer might have finally arrived, however, you can invite friends and family around and cook up a storm with the National Trust's very own cookbook. You can't fail to impress - especially when armed with these recipes... :: GOAT'S CHEESE AND SPINACH QUICHE (Serves 8) For the pastry: 225g plain flour Pinch salt 1/2tsp dried mixed herbs 115g butter, diced 50g cheddar cheese, grated 1 egg, beaten 1-2tbsp milk For the filling: 200g potatoes, diced 1tbsp vegetable oil 140g onions, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 85g frozen spinach, defrosted 2tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 1tbsp fresh sage, chopped 1tsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 Granny Smith or small Bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced 125g pack goat's cheese, diced 125ml double cream 100ml milk 4 eggs Salt and freshly ground black pepper Salad or mixed vegetables, to serve Butter a 23cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin. To make the pastry case, add the flour, salt, herbs and butter to a bowl and rub in until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the cheese, then mix in the egg and enough milk to make a smooth, soft dough. Lightly knead the pastry, then roll out on a lightly-floured surface until a little larger than the tart tin. Lift the pastry over a rolling pin and press into the tin. Trim the top of the pastry a little above the top of the tin, to allow for shrinkage, prick the base with a fork then chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Line the tart case with a circle of non-stick baking paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook for five more minutes, until the base is crisp and dry. Set aside. Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the potatoes to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for four to five minutes (until just tender) and drain. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for five to 10 minutes, until softened and lightly-coloured. Add the spinach to a sieve and press out the water with the back of a spoon. Stir into the onions then mix in the parsley, sage and balsamic vinegar. Fry gently until the mix starts to dry, then take off the heat. Spoon half the spinach mix into the base of the tart case. Scatter the potatoes, apple and remaining spinach mix into the tart, then top with the goat's cheese. Whisk the cream, milk, eggs and a little salt and pepper together in a jug then pour into the tart. Bake at 180C/gas mark 4 for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is set. Leave to stand for up to 10 minutes before removing from the tart tin and slicing. Serve with mixed vegetables or salad. :: SUMMER FRUIT CRUMBLE (Serves 4-6) 2 peaches, halved, stoned and sliced 1 medium Bramley apple, quartered, cored, peeled and cut into chunks 300g frozen mixed summer fruits For the crumble topping: 140g plain flour 55g porridge oats 50g caster sugar 100g soft margarine 4tsp demerara sugar Ice cream or custard, to serve Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Add the peaches, apple and frozen summer fruits to a 1.2L ovenproof dish and mix together. To make the topping, add the flour, oats, sugar and margarine to a bowl and rub in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, use an electric mixer. Sprinkle the crumble over the fruit, then scatter with the demerara sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden and the fruit softened. Spoon into bowls and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or hot custard. :: FROSTED SPICED BEETROOT CAKE (Serves 8) 250g pack chilled cooked beetroot in natural juices, drained well, finely grated 100g carrot, finely grated 40g walnut pieces, chopped 175ml vegetable oil 4 eggs 250g caster sugar 250g gluten-free self-raising flour 1 1/2tsp ground cinnamon 3/4tsp grated nutmeg 3/4tsp ground ginger For the toffee frosting: 175g cream cheese 40g butter, at room temperature 115g caster sugar 2tbsp water 2tbsp walnut pieces, to decorate, if liked Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins with a little oil and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Add the beetroot to a sieve and press out excess liquid with the back of a spoon or using hands in rubber gloves to prevent the juices staining. Then mix with the carrot and walnuts. Add the oil, eggs and caster sugar to the bowl of an electric whisk and beat for five minutes, until very light and fluffy. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a third bowl. Gently fold the beetroot mix into the whisked eggs, then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon the cake mixture evenly into the tins and gently ease into an even layer, being careful not to knock out the air. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Leave in the tins for five minutes, then loosen the edge and turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool. To make the frosting, whisk the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and water to a heavy-based pan and very gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don't be tempted to stir or you may crystallise the syrup. Increase the heat and cook for three to four minutes until a golden caramel. Whisk into the cream cheese mixture in a thin, steady stream, then cool in the fridge until thick. To finish, put one cake on to a serving plate, spread with half the frosting. Add the second cake and spread the rest of the frosting on top, then sprinkle with walnuts, if liked. :: The National Trust Cookbook, with recipe photography by William Shaw, is published by National Trust Books, priced £20. Available now THREE OF THE BEST... Cherries :: Waitrose Sweet And Juicy Cherries, £3.50 for 415g (www.waitrose.com) Containing lots of plump, just-in-season Lapins cherries, these are big, dark and juicy - with just a little bit of a tang. :: Sainbury's Family Pack Cherries, £3 for 400g (www.sainsburys.co.uk) Look out for family packs containing Kordia cherries - deep in flavour with just the right amount of sweetness, this variety is a real favourite with our testers. :: Tesco Cherries, £3 for 400g (www.tesco.com) Summer Sun cherries are now ready to be picked and contain the perfect burst of sweetness. They have a really smooth taste and would be delicious in a cherry pie.

Parliamentarians plan appeal as they seek European court ruling on Brexit

February 9 2018

A group of parliamentarians plans to lodge a legal appeal in an attempt to secure a European court ruling on Brexit.The politicians believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally stop the UK leaving the EU if the final Brexit deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons.They want a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 can be halted by the UK on its own, without prior consent of the other 27 EU member states.The group took its fight to the Court of Session in Edinburgh but on Tuesday Judge Lord Doherty turned down a bid to have a full hearing on whether to refer the question to the Luxembourg Court, ruling the issue is  “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”.Now campaigners have announced plans to appeal against his ruling to the Inner House of the Court of Session.Two of the original group of seven have withdrawn – the SNP’s Joanna Cherry QC and Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine – while director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham QC, which has backed the crowdfunded legal action, has been added.The remaining five members are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler.In a statement, Mr Maugham said they believe the judge’s decision was “flawed”.He added: “Establishing that, alongside the political route to revocability there is a legal route, is vital in the national interest.“If Parliament chooses not to withdraw the Article 50 notice then no harm is done by asking now the question whether it has that right.“But if Parliament does come to want to withdraw the notice, knowing it has the right to do so serves the national interest.“It improves the bargaining position of the UK, it ensures we retain the opt-outs and rebates that we presently enjoy, and it places the decision entirely in the hands of the UK’s Parliament and – if it chooses – its people.”Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve.David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address.The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said.Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic.“In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.”

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