Scottish independence: Alex Salmond rejects talks on referendum’s question

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ALEX Salmond has rejected talks with opposition leaders aimed at thrashing out a deal on the question to be asked in the 2014 independence referendum.

The First Minister insisted the Electoral Commission would advise on the question and test it, but the final decision would rest with the SNP-ruled parliament.

His intervention follows concerns the Scottish Government’s preferred question, “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”, is weighted in favour of a Yes vote. Opposition parties wanted an expert commission to look into the issue. Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “Sadly, this is the type of response we have come to expect from the First Minister, to a constructive offer to find a common approach to tackling the wording.”

But Mr Salmond said: “Scotland’s referendum will meet the highest international standards. By accepting the central role of the Electoral Commission we have accepted the requests put by the opposition parties.”