Here are the stories making the headlines in Scotland and across the UK this morning.

Lloyds to cut 1,600 jobs in major branch overhaul

Lloyds Banking Group is to cut about 1,600 jobs across its branch network as part of an overhaul of its services due to more people banking online.

But the group, which owns Halifax and Bank of Scotland, said its restructure would also create 830 roles, leading to an overall net reduction of 769 jobs.

Lloyds said: "It's important our people are available when it matters most."

It said the cuts did not apply to junior staff, and that voluntary redundancy would be offered to some.

The UK's biggest lender said the way customers chose to bank with it had changed rapidly in recent years, with more than 21 million banking online or through mobile apps.

UK halts trade negotiations with Canada over hormones in beef ban

The UK has stopped its trade talks with Canada, after nearly two years of negotiations on a post-Brexit agreement.

Trade between the two countries currently takes place under the terms of a deal the UK rolled over from its time as an EU member.

A time-limited agreement allowed the UK to continue to sell cars and cheese without high import taxes.

But talks about extending these as part of a new deal have now broken down.

It marks the first time the UK has formally suspended talks with a trade partner since formally leaving the EU trading regime in 2021.

It will also mean the UK's trading terms with Canada will now be worse than when it was part of the EU's deal with the country.

Vodafone: UAE firm's 14.6% ownership of telecoms giant poses national security risk and would influence company policy, says UK government

Vodafone's biggest shareholder is a "national security" risk and its stake in the telecoms giant would influence company policy, the UK government has said.

A United Arab Emirates (UAE) incorporated firm, trading as e&, owns 14.6% of Vodafone, which the Cabinet Office has said would "enable it materially to influence the policy of Vodafone".

This gives rise to "a risk to national security" in Vodafone's work as a government contractor, including to departments that support national security, and in ensuring UK cyber security, said a decision by the Cabinet Office's secretary of state, Oliver Dowden.

Fears that foreign powers could meddle in key British businesses have led the UK government to strengthen its scrutiny of corporate transactions involving state-owned buyers and companies from authoritarian countries.

The government has cleared e&'s 14.6% stake in Vodafone but new restrictions will be imposed.

FTSE bosses fear falling prey to foreign takeovers

Britain’s beleaguered stock market has left City bosses increasingly nervous about the threat of foreign takeovers, according to new research.

The majority of FTSE 350 board members surveyed by investment broker Deutsche Numis said their companies are at a greater risk of being acquired by buyers overseas in 2024.

Renewed pessimism comes after international buyers took advantage of cheap British stocks last year, resulting in a surge in takeover premiums.

Higher premiums fuelled fears that British companies were undervalued, prompting businesses to seek greater valuations abroad, including on the New York Stock Exchange.

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