Scottish independence: Talks progress on referendum vote

Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore Referendum minister Nicola Sturgeon met with Scottish Secretary Michael Moore

Independence referendum talks between the Scottish and UK governments are said to be "gathering pace" after a meeting in Edinburgh.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were involved in discussions and are due to continue talks next week.

The Scottish government wants a vote in autumn 2014 with the UK government pushing for a single question.

The prime minister and first minister are also expected to meet shortly.

The issue of a single question or second question on increased powers remains unresolved but progress has been made on other areas, including the role of the Electoral Commission and campaign broadcasts.

Any final deal is expected to be confirmed in a meeting between Alex Salmond and David Cameron, due to take place in early October.

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We are upping the pace and working through the tough issues”

End Quote Michael Moore Scottish Secretary

The UK government has offered to transfer legal authority to carry out the referendum to Holyrood, but they want it restricted to one question on independence.

The SNP insist the referendum must be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.

Following the meeting on Thursday, Mr Moore said: "We had a very constructive set of discussions. The two governments want to make this work and we are now engaging in the detail.

"We are upping the pace and working through the tough issues."

A Scottish government spokeswoman added: "Today's meeting made progress. All the significant issues are now under discussion.

"Ministers reviewed good progress made by officials towards a common understanding of issues such as the role of the Electoral Commission and ensuring that the Scottish Parliament has the power to legislate to provide for public broadcasts by the campaigns."

Ms Sturgeon and Mr Moore have agreed to meet again next Wednesday in London.

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