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Last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 26 January 2012

Scottish independence


26 January 2012

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has set out his plans for a referendum on Scottish independence. The Westminster government has its own ideas on how the referendum should be held and has already published its own consultation document.


Colin Blane

people holding the British and Scottish flags

Two men wave Union and Saltire flags


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Alex Salmond's statement to the Scottish Parliament is the latest stage in the manoeuvring between Westminster and Edinburgh for control of the referendum process.

Mr Salmond wants a simple question on independence but he'd also like the possibility of another question about further powers for the Scottish Parliament short of full separation. And he's expected to restate the SNP's argument that 16 and 17 year-olds should be allowed to vote.

There are signs that the Scottish government may be willing to negotiate to reach agreement with Westminster to make sure the referendum is legal. The two sides are to hold talks on the details of the ballot.

It looks as if Mr Salmond won't object to the process being supervised by the UK electoral commission.


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official announcement


skilful and careful movement

the referendum process

the series of things that need to be done to carry out a vote on the issue


freedom of control from another country

short of

one step before


say again to express strongly


formally discuss

to reach an agreement

to come to an arrangement that both sides have the same opinion on


system of voting


checked that everything is done correctly

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