Referendum must be 'made in Scotland'

Cabinet agrees vote should be determined by Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government cabinet has today agreed that the independence referendum should be ‘made in Scotland’, as it was in 2014.

Speaking after the cabinet met at Bute House in Edinburgh this morning, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish Government has a cast-iron democratic mandate for an independence referendum, and the vote must take place within a timeframe to allow an informed choice to be made – when the terms of Brexit are clear but before the UK leaves the European Union or shortly afterwards.

“In that way, with the vote taking placed between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of 2019, the independence prospectus which we will offer people can be contrasted directly with the Brexit deal which the UK Government will have negotiated by the start of that period.

“Next week we will bring a debate to the Scottish Parliament, with a motion for decision which mandates the Scottish Government to begin discussions with the UK Government on the terms of a Section 30 order, to enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for the referendum.

“Subject to Parliament’s approval of that motion, cabinet today agreed that the referendum must be for Scotland’s national legislature to shape.

“It should be up to the Scottish Parliament to determine the referendum’s timing, franchise and the question, which of course will be open to independent scrutiny and testing as it was last time.

“Scotland’s referendum should be built on the principles of democracy, mandate and precedent, all of which should be observed as we move to give the people of Scotland the choice the current political situation demands.

“There should be no strings attached, no blocking mechanisms applied and no Downing Street diktat – Scotland’s referendum must be made in Scotland.

“That was the exact description the UK Government themselves used ahead of the 2014 referendum, and the same principle should apply now.”


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