Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Thursday, 15 November 2012

Referendum Bill Committee 2

The Referendum Bill Committee voted unanimously to recommend the Section 30 Order which will enable the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on Scottish independence.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke to and moved the Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013 [draft] on 15 November 2012.

The initiative was contained in the Edinburgh Agreement signed by the Prime Minister and the First Minister.

The scheme also requires endorsement at Westminster - where it may face a tougher challenge, especially in the House of Lords.

Ms Sturgeon said the order would ensure the referendum "was made in Scotland and beyond effective legal challenge".

The Scottish government has confirmed the wording of the question in the independence referendum.

People will be asked to vote "yes" or "no" to the question: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"

The question will now be scrutinised by the Electoral Commission watchdog.

Earlier the deputy first minister said the government believed a preamble, detailing what independence would look like, "was not required at this stage" and that it was "absolutely essential testing of the question is done in good time for the introduction of the Referendum Bill".

Ms Sturgeon told the committee the government would not depart from the Electoral Commission advice on the wording of the question "unless there is a very good reason for doing so" but stressed she would not give away the proper role of government and the parliament in deciding the final wording.

In closing, the deputy first minister said she was "committed to the spirit of the Edinburgh Agreement".

Referendum Bill Committee


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