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Friday newspaper round-up: Scotland, Royal Mail, Twitter

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Cameron urges Scotland to stay in UK; Royal Mail IPO row reignites; Twitter planning changes to reverse slowdown.
Friday newspaper round-up: Scotland, Royal Mail, Twitter

David Cameron will on Friday launch a personal campaign to save the UK, warning that the country would be “deeply diminished” if Scotland votes to secede in this year’s independence referendum. In a dramatic intervention the UK prime minister will claim there are just “seven months to save the most extraordinary country in history” and will make an impassioned plea to Scots: “We want you to stay.” – Financial Times

A range of investment banks valued Royal Mail last spring at up to £1.5bn more than it was eventually sold for, according to data obtained under a freedom of information request. The figures have re­ignited accusations that Britain’s postal operator was privatised too cheaply in the country’s most ambitious state sell-off for decades, with taxpayers allegedly losing out by hundreds of millions of pounds. – Financial Times

A Chinese developer that came to the London property market with a proposal to redevelop Royal Albert Dock has joined forces with PwC to attract businesses to Britain. Advanced Business Park said yesterday that it had set up a joint venture with the consultancy group to provide services to Chinese companies wanting to open in the UK. It said that it was part of its plan to turn the dock into a “hub for businesses from Asia”. – The Times

Twitter boss Dick Costolo hinted that more changes to the social media site are planned for this year as he sought to reassure investors after user number growth slowed to a trickle in the last quarter. Costolo said the company would make it easier for people to sign up for the service and will also attempt to bring back inactive users, addressing concerns following fourth-quarter numbers that the site is not “mainstream” enough. – Scotsman

David Cameron and Ed Miliband are harming the long-term financial future of the country by ducking tough decisions and seeking refuge instead in cross-party consensus, the head of Britain’s most respected economic think-tank has warned. Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is predicting that political leaders will fight the next election campaign by highlighting differences over issues that have “trivial financial consequences”, such as the winter fuel allowance. – The Times

Bombardier UK has fought off competition from foreign bidders to win the £1bn contract to build trains for London’s Crossrail project. Britain’s only train builder, based in Derby, beat Japan’s Hitachi and CAF of Spain to supply 65 trains for the line. Bombardier – the British arm of the Canadian aerospace and transport manufacturer – had warned that missing out on the contract could cause the factory, which employs 1,500 workers, to close. – The Guardian

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