Scottish independence: Referendum consultation results set to be published
THE Scottish Government is to publish the results of the referendum consultation on Tuesday, more than a week after Alex Salmond and David Cameron agreed a deal to transfer the legal power to hold the independence vote to Holyrood.
• The SNP have announced that the results of the referendum consultation are to be published
• Announcement comes just a week after the Edinburgh Agreement, a deal that saw power to hold a referendum granted to the Scottish Parliament
• Holyrood handed power to hold single-question referendum on independence by end of 2014
Both governments formally laid a Section 30 order on Monday to transfer the power to make the referendum legal before the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the 26,000 responses would be published after she made a statement to MSPs today on the order, announced last week as part of the “Edinburgh Agreement” on how the independence vote will be conducted.
The deadline for responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation was in May, but there followed a lengthy independent verification process.
Ms Sturgeon said: “[On Tuesday] I intend, subject to the agreement of the Business Bureau, making a statement to Parliament on the Edinburgh Agreement and the consultation analysis report.”
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “I am certain both parliaments will scrutinise the order carefully and I am confident it will be approved in time for the Scottish Parliament to introduce their referendum legislation early next year.”
SNP ministers were criticised on Monday by opposition parties for what they claimed was the late publication of the analysis of the independence consultation.
Scottish Labour’s constitutional spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson said: “It is truly shameful that it has taken the Scottish Government the best part of six months to publish this consultation, let alone that they have done it after cutting a deal behind closed doors.”
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Given the delays, it does not bode well for a timely release of the Scottish Government’s white paper on independence due next year.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This shows complete disrespect and could be seen as an empty gesture by the public, including many nationalists, who took the effort to respond to the consultation.”
Under the terms of the historic deal between the two governments, Holyrood has been handed the power to hold a referendum with a single question on independence by the end of 2014.
The Electoral Commission has also been handed a role in helping to frame the referendum question voters will be asked.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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