Referendum Bill is passed

Posted on 15/11/2013 by

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The Bill to allow the people of Scotland to choose whether Scotland should be an independent country has been passed by Holyrood.  

MSPs voted in favour of the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill following a final debate on the legislation this afternoon.
The Bill confirms that:

  • The people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on September 18th next year on the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
  • The vote will be run to the highest international standards and will be overseen by the independent Electoral Commission.
  • The vote will be preceded by a 16-week formal campaign period.
  • The referendum will be conducted under the direction of a Chief Counting Officer responsible for appointing local Counting Officers to run the poll in local areas.

 

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“This is a truly historic moment in Scotland’s national story. It means that in September next year the people of Scotland will be asked whether they want this country to be independent.

“This Government believes independence will benefit everyone in this nation, and that having decisions taken here by the people who live and work here will help us create a fairer and more prosperous society.

“Later this month, we will publish the White Paper on independence, outlining in great detail the benefits and opportunities of having decisions made here in Scotland, for Scotland.

“The Edinburgh Agreement confirmed that next September’s referendum should be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament and that it should be conducted so as to command the confidence of parliaments, governments and people.

“With today’s vote, Holyrood has fulfilled that objective. It is a strong message that, whatever our political differences, we have agreed the rules and the procedure to be followed in the referendum.  “I hope we can continue in this spirit as we make our case for either outcome by committing to engage in a constructive and respectful debate.

“People want to know what the gains of independence will be for their families and communities.  We already take decisions here on a wide range of devolved issues, and these have led to real gains for communities all across Scotland.  Independence is the next logical step in Scotland’s Home Rule journey, and the passing of this Bill will allow people to have that choice.

“Independence is not about this administration but about the right of the people of Scotland to choose a Government of our own.”

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