openDemocracyUK

A Referendum on Independence for Scotland

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, introduces a referendum bill on the future of Scotland.
Mike Small
26 February 2010

Plans to give the people of Scotland their say on the nation’s future – including enhanced devolution and extending the powers of the Parliament to enable independence to be achieved – were unveiled today with the publication of a draft Referendum Bill.

First Minister Alex Salmond published the draft Bill which would give people the opportunity to have their say on two questions:

* first, whether the Scottish Parliament should have more devolved responsibility
* second, whether there should be an additional extension of power to enable Scotland to become an independent country

A consultation paper, published with the draft Bill, seeks views on the best option for the question on further devolution: full devolution including fiscal autonomy (known as ‘Devo Max’) or the more limited proposals made by the Commission on Scottish Devolution (the ‘Calman Commission’). Will the Unionist parties ‘Kill Bill’? By including the Calman options Salmond has again changed the ground from underneath them, and his reference to ‘circumstances after the next election’ is an un-subtle reference to the incoming Tory regime as England slides towards Aristocracy.

Cross-posted from Bella Caledonia.

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