Date Set For Independence Referendum

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that the Cabinet meeting this afternoon will hold a scheduled discussion to put the finishing touches to the consultation document setting out the Scottish Government’s detailed referendum proposals.  The document will be published later this month, and will be subject to the normal period of public consultation.

Commenting on the UK Government’s “cack-handed” attempts to interfere in Scotland’s referendum and impose unacceptable strings, First Minister Alex Salmond said today that Westminster’s plans are in “a state of total confusion”, and that overnight the UK Government had already retreated on the issue of an 18-month time limit for the referendum.

Mr Salmond said:

“The UK Government is in a state of total confusion.  Overnight, yesterday’s 18-month sunset clause had disappeared into the sunset; the coalition is riven with tensions; and Westminster is backtracking in the face of the massive thumbs down from opinion in Scotland to Tory interference in the Scottish democratic process.

“The issue is not Section 30 of the Scotland Act.  The issue is the entirely unacceptable Tory attempt to impose London strings on Scotland’s referendum, from a Westminster government with absolutely no mandate for these matters.

“In stark contrast to Westminster’s disarray, the Scottish Government will continue with the orderly process of bringing forward the referendum in the second half of this parliament.  And this afternoon the Cabinet will put the final touches to a consultation document setting out the Scottish Government’s detailed proposals for the referendum, which will be published later this month.”

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