Scottish independence vote outcomes to be made clear

The Union Jack and a Saltire flying above the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound, Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna
The Union Jack and a Saltire flying above the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound, Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna
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SCOTS will be given a clear picture in advance of the independence referendum about the consequences of a Yes or No vote, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Talks are currently under way between officials from the SNP government in Edinburgh and the coalition in Westminster.

Elections watchdog the Electoral Commission has previously said that voters should be told about what process will follow the referendum in “sufficient detail” to make it clear what will happen in the event of either a Yes or No vote.

There have been concerns that many Scots are unsure what independence will actually mean – or they are unclear about the implications for Scotland if it stays in the UK.

MSPs on Holyrood’s referendum committee yesterday took evidence from Ms Sturgeon on the historic vote and Nationalist back-bencher Rob Gibson asked: “What discussions have you had with the UK government about what will follow the vote?”

Ms Sturgeon said: “There are discussions ongoing between my officials and counterparts in the UK government about what a statement of that nature might look like.

“I thought the Electoral Commission’s recommendation in that regard was sensible – just as we were right to accept the recommendations on spending, there’s a duty on both governments to accept the recommendations in this regard as well.”

Ms Sturgeon said the discussions have not yet concluded and she will report back to MSPs when this is done.

There are also concerns that “purdah” restrictions which apply to the SNP government from making major announcements in the build-up to the vote on 18 September next year, will not apply to the UK government.

But Ms Sturgeon insisted that undertakings to this effect had been given by the coalition in the “Edinburgh Agreement” signed by Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

She said: “I would expect them to honour that in full.”

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