Thursday 25 February 2010
As well as a decision on Scottish independence, the draft referendum bill proposes to give people in Scotland the option of deciding on whether the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament should be increased. The public consultation will seek views from across Scotland on whether the option for an increase in devolved powers should be based on the proposals contained in the Calman Commission’s report or the alternative of ‘Devo Max’ outlined as part of the Scottish Government’s National Conversation.
The referendum would take a similar format to the one that re-established the Scottish Parliament, with a first yes or no question on additional devolved powers for Holyrood followed by a second yes or no question on independence for Scotland.
Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:
“The people of Scotland have an inalienable right to decide upon the constitutional arrangements that they wish to see in Scotland, and I welcome the fact that we have moved a step closer towards a referendum on what those arrangements should be.
“The UK Government is planning a referendum on changing the voting system for Westminster while the National Assembly for Wales is planning one on increasing their devolved powers. Clearly this is the right time for Scotland to make our own decision on our constitutional future too and I encourage people across Scotland to take part in this consultation to decide what option for further devolution should be on the ballot paper.
“The Scottish Parliament was reconvened after a successful yes-yes campaign in the referendum on devolution and I believe that the people of Scotland will return the same result in a referendum on independence.
“With the normal powers of an independent country we will be able to speak with our own voice in Europe, do more to support economic recovery and create the kind of Scotland we would all want to live in. I believe that we need the powers of an independent country if we are to successfully grasp the opportunities for a brighter future for Scotland and my SNP colleagues and I are looking forward to taking that message to the people of Scotland.”
The draft referendum bill and the consultation on which questions should be on the ballot paper can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/303348/0095138.pdf