Correspondence from public relating to second independence referendum: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

Any correspondence (e-mails and letters) from the public to MSPs in the Scottish Government (meaning all SNP and Green MSPs) regarding a second independence referendum from 29 March 2023 to present.

If this is too broad of a search, to narrow it down, I am looking for all correspondence (e-mails and letters) in which the public have asked the Scottish Government to not focus on a second independence referendum and on other matters that are perhaps more important to them (such as the NHS, housing, crime, education).


You requested “Any correspondence (e-mails and letters) from the public to MSPs in the Scottish Government (meaning all SNP and Green MSPs) “. I should initially clarify that the Scottish Government handles correspondence on behalf of Scottish Ministers, and not all SNP and Green MSPs.

The Scottish Government does not hold a central record of all correspondence received from the public in a way which details every issue raised in the correspondence. Instead, correspondence is handled by the business area with responsibility for the primary topic raised. This means it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of all correspondence which may have mentioned a second independence referendum, where it was not the main topic of an item of correspondence.

While we therefore cannot provide a definitive list of all correspondence which mentions “a second independence referendum”, we have conducted searches in the business area responsible for independence policy, as this is the business area which handles any correspondence that is primarily about independence referendums.

Searching this correspondence on the specific terms of ‘a second independence referendum’ has identified a small amount of the information most of which is enclosed in Annex A of this letter.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (Personal Information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202300375668 - Information Released - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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