Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Ministers say referendum meeting 'constructive'

A summit to discuss the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was "constructive" and "productive", the two ministers involved have said.

Scotland Office Minister David Mundell met Holyrood's new constitution minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Tory MP Mr Mundell said the momentum was "definitely moving towards getting a deal" done.

Ms Sturgeon said she hoped further progress would be made when she meets Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.

She had earlier told BBC Scotland that she wanted key principles agreed so the debate on Scotland's future could properly begin.

The SNP's Ms Sturgeon was given her new Scottish Cabinet role on independence this week.

She left her job as health secretary and is now in charge of infrastructure, investment and cities, with lead responsibility on the constitutional question.

Ms Sturgeon told Newsnight Scotland: "The principles of the Scottish government are that we want to make progress, we want to resolve the issues, but we must ensure that the Scottish referendum is built here in Scotland and that is the key principle.

"If we agree that, then we can move on and agree the other issues in fairly short order as well, and then we can have that debate, that very exciting debate, about why it would be better for Scotland and for people in Scotland if we were independent with all the powers that come with that."

The Scottish and UK governments have been debating a number of subjects including how many questions would appear on the ballot paper and who should vote.

The Holyrood administration is currently having its 26,000 responses to the referendum consultation analysed.

Following the meeting, Mr Mundell said: "We had a very constructive meeting with the Scottish government this morning and the momentum is definitely moving towards getting a deal to deliver a legal, fair and decisive referendum for Scotland.

"We discussed the timetable required to get the Section 30 order in place and agreed officials from both governments will now work to draft a memorandum of understanding on progress to date and to detail the areas which still require work.

"There will be a further meeting between the secretary of state for Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon next week which will continue to make headway on the referendum issue."

A spokesman for the Scottish government said Thursday's meeting was "amicable and productive" and next week's meeting between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Moore would help pave the way for a get-together between Mr Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites