Scottish independence: 'Deal agreed' on referendum

Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore spoke on the phone on Monday

The basis of a deal has been reached between the UK and Scottish governments over the independence referendum.

In a joint statement Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said "substantial progress" had been made.

But the BBC understands that although a few minor details need to be ironed out, a package of measures has been agreed.

It paves the way for a meeting between David Cameron and Alex Salmond.

This is expected to take place on Monday in Edinburgh.

The prime minister and the first minister are expected to agree on a plan which will involve a referendum which asks a single yes/no question on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom.

It is understood the agreement will also extend the vote to include those aged over 16 in Scotland.

Mr Moore, who is currently on holiday, and Ms Sturgeon spoke on the phone on Monday night and are due to do so again on Friday.

'Further work'

It follows a series of face-to-face meetings and negotiations between the pair in recent weeks.

Scottish Office Minister David Mundell said there would be a single question

A joint statement issued by the Scottish government and the Scotland Office after Mr Moore and Ms Sturgeon's latest conversation said: "Further substantial progress towards agreement was reached this afternoon between the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Secretary of State Michael Moore.

"Officials have now been tasked with doing some further work on the final detail of the agreement.

"We are however on track for the full agreement, including the terms of a section 30 order, to be presented to the First Minister and the Prime Minister over the next few days."

The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, said the deal - if it is finalised - will be presented as "a compromise involving concessions by both sides".

The SNP is understood to have accepted a single question referendum, as opposed to two questions including one on greater powers for the Scottish Parliament, whilst the UK government has abandoned its opposition to giving 16 and 17-year-olds a vote.

One question

Scotland Office Minister, David Mundell, who has been involved in the negotiations, told the BBC there will be one question and confirmed the vote will be held before the end of 2014.

He said: "It won't automatically be the case that 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in the referendum.

"The UK government, certainly the Conservative party, oppose that change.

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said it was vital for young people to participate

"It will be up to Scottish Parliament to determine who can vote in the referendum in Scotland, and also the date and the nature of the question."

Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney said progress had been made but "further ground" had to be covered before a final agreement is reached.

He added: "The Scottish government has always made clear that we preferred to have a single question on whether Scotland should become an independent country.

"But we also recognised that some people in Scotland want to consider other options to strengthen the powers of the parliament.

"That is a question we have consulted upon, it is one we have discussed and it has been an important part of the discussions with the UK government, but throughout all of this our preference has been to have a single question."

When a final agreement between the two governments is formalised legislation to set up the referendum is expected go before both the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments.


More on This Story

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


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 272.

    lostonearth - yes, surprisingly the only people who get to decide if Scotland becomes independent are the citizens of Scotland. Crazy, isn't it?

    Next thing you know, rUK will be having a referendum on leaving the EU... WITHOUT EVEN GIVING THE REST OF THE EU A SAY!!!! How LUDICROUS!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    PLEASE DO NOT do this, just for once we need common sense to rise above political egotism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    The UK would be mad to accept Scotland's demand for the majority of oil to be in 'Scottish Waters'. Salmond is on record as saying he wants a fair and equitable split of National assets - demanding 8% of what Brown left of the gold reserves! It will only be fair and equitable that Scotland gets 8% of oil reserve revenue. The 'Scottish Waters' argument is irrelevant the seabed belongs to the Crown!

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    Dont stay in a state that persecutes it`s poor, sick and unemployed. A state that taxes you into death whilst giving the rich tax cuts and creating a massive divide not seen since the 18th century.You deserve better -take this opportunity and vote against staying with us unfortunate lowish order.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    @Bladesman 236
    And England (B of E) can wave goodbye to the millions of pounds a year in interest it receives from Scottish banks that 'pay' for the privilege to print their own bank notes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    I urge ALL Scotts to vote yes. This is your time to finally get your independence for your oppressors the English, once and for all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    .., so once they have their independence they can be ruled by Brussels & not London.

    If we accept the tenet of your argument, that the EU increasingly rules the UK & that London rules Scotland then using Tory principles removing the superfluous level of Government, London, is an eminently sensible & good thing to do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.


    It is time to stop Scotlands MP's voting in the House of Commons when English MP's cannot vote in the Scotland Parliament."

    I know you have been brought up to think Westminster is the English Parliament, but it is not. You need to vote for Independence for that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    Surely I can`t be alone in feeling furious that the country falls over backward to accomodate the Northern Irish, Welsh and the Scottish"

    I'm English and live in Wales - the Welsh don't get it so good.

    We have been used as a test-bed for various policies (council tax revaluation for example), which have then NOT been rolled out after negative effects.

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    You're clearly misinformed. Since devolution Scotland's EEZ has been marked out LEGALLY. It existed before then just not officially

    But that's just it, it's not official & why should Britain just gift all the British funded/developed fields to Scotland. The point is, why is this not clearly flagged & detailed by both the Yes/No camps? Do they agree, don't they, who will resolve?

  • Comment number 262.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    Seems only the Scots get the vote........ as usual the English are ignored. And yes, if the Scots want out. I have no qualms at all. One thing, lets not have underhand deals to prop up economies afterwards. Who knows, I might even save some money but then looking at the Governments record, I suspect any savings will be wasted on foreign excursions. No wonder the UK is already night on bankrupt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.


    Your being a little misleading debt was 44% of GDP excluding bank bail outs and it was 41% of GDP in 97 when Labour took over. The intervening years saw it drop to as low as 29% which is the lowest it has been in history. Some perspective in 1950 it was 190% which is slightly more than it is today if you include bank bail outs. Those banks will of course be sold at some point as well

  • rate this

    Comment number 259.

    We've had successive Labour Governments that have spent every penny and borrowed massively to create a Nation in Debt - £1.2 trillion in 2009! "

    The Thatcher government doubled the national debt and the Major government doubled it yet again. The Heath government borrowed heavily and presided over economic chaos. Every government, of all parties, borrows and leaves more debt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    Scotland becomes financial Independent, the money he loses from the North sea he is cancelled out by not giving Scotland her yearly pocket money, Britain will still remain, so he loses no face, and Labour lose over Forty MPs from Scotland giving the Conservatives almost never-ending power in England.

    Is that so... !
    ... theres hope yet
    Every clouds got its silver lining

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.

    Even Waterloo Road and the BBC have emigrated recently. Remember those bleak and gray scenes in a depressing Rochdale, Now they are by the coast and in the countryside, lush and hopefull of a future.

    Little England has had its day, Empire, no more, World Policeman, no more. It can't even bat a Tennis Racket,

    Andy does that for US.

    - Scotland - The FUTURE!

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    We'll all be fine
    There will be almost no difference for the little guy in England

    For the little guy in Scotland 100% autonomy creates a huge amount of opportunity for success or disaster

    There also needs to be an EU referendum in Scotland after Independence
    Many of us want the "Norwegian option"

    The first Scottish currency will be UK Sterling, our petrodollars will be converted to UK pounds

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    198.Trout Mask Replica

    "Norway provided more foreign aid to developing countries as a percentage of its gross national product than any other Western industrialized nation."

    They probably do this BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD IT.

    Why can they afford it ?


  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    It’s a daft argument, we all live on one island, a minority of the Scots, like the Irish, don’t seem to be able to get over losing ancient historical and religious conflicts, which is a great shame. We should all be pulling together to make Great Britain a better place to live for all, not fighting over scraps.

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    It is time to stop Scotlands MP's voting in the House of Commons when English MP's cannot vote in the Scotland Parliament.


Page 24 of 37


More Scotland politics stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.