London - An independent Scotland would drive on the right, replace the queen's head on coins and bring in UN peacekeepers with purple berets - if Britain's newspapers were to believed on April Fool's Day.
The Scottish independence referendum on September 18 provided the subject matter for most of the traditional spoofs in Britain's largely London-based tabloids and broadsheets on April 1.
The Guardian carried a detailed report on supposedly secret plans by the Scottish government to show it is “part of Europe” by switching driving on the left of the road to the right and changing the “M” for motorway on signs to “S” for Scotland.
In a video using Lego cars, it showed how huge spiral interchanges would be built to help motorists from south of the border in Britain change direction and avoid accidents.
The Times said that an elderly German aristocrat, Ferdinand, Duke of Saxony, hoped to use Scottish independence as a chance to reclaim the throne of Scotland from Queen Elizabeth II.
The giveaway was in the academic quoted in the piece - Amadan Giblean, a Gaelic translation of April Fool, according to the BBC.
The thrones of Scotland and England have been united since king James I in 1601, while Scotland and England have been in political union for more than 300 years.
In another royal shocker, the Telegraph reported that the head of Scotland's pro-independence First Minister Alex Salmond would replace that of the queen on Scottish pound coins - from April 1, 2015, according to journalist “Flora Poli” (April Fool).
The Daily Mail said it had a photo of a government aide accidentally revealing plans for a new Union Jack flag without any of the blue from the Scottish flag of St Andrew.
The Independent meanwhile said the United Nations was drawing up plans for a peacekeeping mission to prevent cross-border tensions in case of independence, including pre-arranged “face-offs” modelled on the Hollywood film “Braveheart”.
The UN peacekeepers would replace their traditional blue helmets for fear the colour would be seen as a sign of support for Scottish independence, and replace them with “neutral” purple berets, it said.
The Sun avoided Scotland but stuck with the royals, reporting that the queen had approved fracking in the grounds of her home Buckingham Palace - under the headline “Frackingham Palace” and quoting Green campaigner “Avril Fuel”.
The Express said that a British farmer's hens were laying square eggs at his farm in “Flair Loop”, western England.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had meanwhile banned pop group One Direction unless they copy his distinctive short-back-and-sides hairstyle, the Mirror's reporter “Paolo Frils” wrote.
He was also due to launch a competition to find a North Korean rival to the British band, dubbed “Un Direction”, said the Mirror. - Sapa-AFP