Scotland: It's good to talk


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It makes a good headline but listen very hard and you will hear the sound of politicians in Edinburgh and Westminster admitting they'll have to talk.

The prime minister's declaration to Scots was presented as telling them that "you can only vote for independence in the way I want and at the time I want".

The first minister's insistence that any referendum will be "Made in Scotland" was presented as a declaration of, well, independence.

However, on Tuesday the Scottish Secretary made an offer to the Scottish government: We'll give you the power to hold a legally secure vote if you talk to us about how it's staged.

And, this morning, Alex Salmond said he was sure politicians were capable of reaching agreement.

Both sides know that Westminster holds the legal cards and Edinburgh the political cards. It's now time to trade over who votes, what they vote on - and when.

Tonight on Radio 4 I will be kicking off a new series of Decision Time with a discussion on the decision about Scotland's future involving the man who was until recently Alex Salmond's top civil servant his former political adviser two former Scottish Secretaries - one Labour, one Tory and a constitutional expert. That's Decision Time at 2000 GMT on Radio 4.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Time for politicians to stop talking and listen to what the people want?

    Referendum. Where we can indicate our wishes?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    That's what I love about this country. Posturing politicians, cynical voters, and media types in the middle winding up all sides.

    For wages too!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    How about instead of endlessly speculating how any referenda might work legally - you do the citizens of Scotland the service of researching the pro's and cons of a yes vote? Wouldn't that be a far more productive use of my license fee?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I am sick and tired of the Alex Salmond and Co's antagonism! They do not want to hear any criticisms from any authority, like kids in the playground. I hope Scotland gains independence, joins the EU and ultimately the Euro, and we will see how would Salmond and Co. react to real bullyism from the likes of Germany and France.... they can't blame the English then, or could they still!!??

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Alex Salmon knows that he must abide by the law, and the legally constructed constitutional framework. He will do his grandstanding bit for the benefit of his Scottish electorate, but in the end he will have to abide by the will of the UK parliament. I would be happy for Scotland to be totally independent as long as they are prepared to pay their own way.


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