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Dewar says "YES" to devolution

Scottish Referendum Goes Ahead As Planned

The Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewar, has announced that Scotland's devolution referendum will go ahead as planned on September 11, despite further calls for a postponement.

Campaigning for the referendum had been suspended as a mark of respect for Diana, Princess of Wales. Politicians will resume campaigning after the funeral on Saturday.

Mr Dewar said he had considered postponing the ballot, but he claimed that the technical consequences, such as recalling Parliament and changing the law, would have proved "formidable".

Tam Dalyell
Tam Dalyell: Fours days are not enough for campaigning
A Tory MP has called on the Prime Minister to make a last-minute intervention. Gerald Howarth has written to Tony Blair expressing concern at the Government's unwillingness to postpone the referendum.

One of Scottish devolution's most vehement critics, Labour MP Tam Dalyell, has strongly criticised the Government. He said that although the suspension of campaigning was understandable, it necessitated a postponement of the referendum.

Mr Dalyell said: "This gives us precisely four days, three if you don't count Sunday, and for such a crucial decision there should be a longer campaigning time."

Donald Dewar responded to the criticism by saying that the campaign had been running since July 24, pointing out that this was even longer than in the run-up to a general election. He also added: "I think people in Scotland are very well aware of the issues. We have had a very sad and tragic week but I think people will be able to move on from that."

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Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997

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