UK and Scottish governments agree independence referendum deal
Representatives from the British government and the Scottish devolved administration are understood to have reached an agreement over the date and format of a referendum on Scottish independence.
The referendum is scheduled to take place in Autumn 2014, although the final details, including financial obligations and organisational issues, are still to be ironed out. According to BBC Scotland which first reported the story, the deal was clinched late on Friday night after a telephone consultation held by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Prime Minister David Cameron and the SNP leader and First Minister, Alex Salmond, are set to meet on Monday to make the agreement official.
After holding the talks, Mr Moore said to the media: “I would like to thank Nicola Sturgeon for the constructive manner in which she has conducted these negotiations over recent weeks. I am very satisfied with the position we have arrived at.”
“I am confident this agreement will be approved by the Prime Minister and First Minister on Monday and that Scotland will have a legal, fair and decisive referendum to decide whether we remain part of the United Kingdom.”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “Obviously, the final agreement is for discussion between the First Minister and Prime Minister on Monday.”
“However, I believe we have reached a position that guarantees a referendum made in Scotland – which is exactly what we set out to do. I am grateful to Michael Moore for his constructive approach in recent weeks. I am now immensely looking forward to making the case for Scotland to have the full powers of independence that are necessary to build the prosperous and fair society that we all want.”
After news of the deal broke out, Labour criticised the government and the SNP for ignoring the 26,000 responses to the referendum consultations.