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Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. BreakingMSPs back principles of indyref2 framework bill

    Saltire ballot box

    MSPs vote to back the general principles of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill, with 65 MSPs backing it and 55 against.

    The Scottish government wants to hold a new ballot in 2020 and has tabled the Referendums Bill to pave the way.

    There have been calls for parts of the bill to be amended, in particular over whether the Electoral Commission would test the question for "indyref2".

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell told MSPs he would discuss the issue of an indyref2 question with the Electoral Commission and introduce an amendment requiring a short bill to instigate the referendum.

    Adam Tomkins, speaking for the Scottish Tories, insisted his party would oppose any attempt at another independence referendum every step of the way.

    This was echoed by Labour MSP Alex Rowley who said "the bill is flawed, vote it down".

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie backed the bill but called for the indyref2 question to be tested.

    The Lib Dems reiterated their opposition through Mike Rumbles, who called it "bad legislation".

  2. Tory opposition to bill 'entirely bogus' says minister

    Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell

    Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell highlights the constitution committee came to unanimous agreement about the bill in its report, yet now three parties are denouncing the bill.

    I have accepted virtually all the recommendations the committee made, he argues.

    He suggests this is about some parties in the chamber having contempt for the views of Scottish people.

    The Tory contribution to this debate is "entirely bogus", as is the attack on the question Mr Russell states.

    The cabinet secretary says the majority of people agree the same question should be used.

  3. Government attempting to gerrymander referendum - Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser
    Image caption: Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Murdo Fraser says the approach of ministers to bring forward a referendum without primary legislation was slammed by witnesses before the constitution committee.

    Closing for the Tories, Mr Fraser welcomes the cabinet secretary agreeing now that a constitutional referendum would need primary legislation, in his words a "short bill".

    He warns the cabinet secretary's use of the term short bill better not be to avoid scrutiny.

    The Tory MSP reiterates the point the Electoral Commission wants to retest the independence question, as the context may have changed.

    He accuses the SNP government of attempting to gerrymander any future referendum.

  4. Labour MSP calls for bill to be rejected

    Alex Rowley

    Closing for Labour, Alex Rowley says the bill as it currently stands is not fit for purpose.

    This alone is reason enough not to support the bill he says, but added to this is that it is being used to instigate another independence referendum.

    Independence would cause further and even greater chaos than the EU referendum, Mr Rowley argues.

    He urges the chamber to reject this bill.

  5. Government proceeding with 'fraud of a bill' says Lib Dem

    Mr Rumbles says the message from the Scottish government is clear they don't want the Electoral Commission to mess with their independence question.

    Mr Russell intervenes to says he has accepted the recommendations of the constitution committee.

    The Lib Dem MSP hits back arguing the Brexit secretary only said he would come to an agreement with the commission, not that it was right.

    He accuses the government of proceeding "with this fraud of a bill".

  6. 'This is an example of bad legislation' - Lib Dem MSP

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says it is the Scottish government's right to waste taxpayers money on this bill but he warns it will pay for it electorally.

    He suggests ministers have no suggestions, apart from independence, as to what this bill could be used for.

    Mr Rumbles says he does not expect the SNP or Greens to give up on their pursuit of independence, but he does expect the 2014 result to be respected for longer.

    "This is an example of bad legislation and this is an example of what this parliament was not designed to do: to just ram it through regardless."

  7. 'The integrity of our democracy is clearly under threat'

    Mr Harvie says issues around political interference and dark money must be addressed.

    "The integrity of our democracy is clearly under threat," says the Green MSP, who calls for legislation to tackle this.

    Digital campaigning is now a core part of elections and deserves the same level of regulation, he adds.

    Mr Harvie warns against misleading information going viral and becoming unchallengeable.

  8. Background: Electoral Commission would want to review indyref2 question

    Example question

    The Electoral Commission would want to assess the wording of the question for a new Scottish independence vote even if it was the same one used in 2014.

    A Scottish government official has suggested this would be unnecessary as the question is already "tested".

    But the election watchdog said it would want to review the question in the light of possible new evidence.

    The Scottish government said the 2014 vote provided a clear precedent for a simple, straightforward question.

    Read more.

  9. Leave/remain too strongly associated with Brexit says Harvie

    Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie says the evidence in favour of setting out a framework for referendums is clear.

    But he accepts changes do need to be made to this bill.

    He says no question can be so urgent that primary legislation is not required, nor so important that scrutiny can be disposed of.

    Mr Harvie criticises suggestions a future independence referendum could use the terms 'leave' and 'remain', because they are too strongly associated with the question of EU membership.

    It is overwhelmingly clear any proposal to re-frame independence around leave and remain would be rejected during question testing, he argues, though he agrees question testing should go ahead.

  10. Background: Where do the parties stand on indyref2?

    Saltire ballot box

    Boris Johnson has ruled out granting permission for a second vote on Scottish independence while he is prime minister.

    Mr Johnson said his government would not give the go-ahead for another legally-binding referendum.

    Last weekend thousands of independence supporters have heard Nicola Sturgeon call for "Scotland's future to be put into Scotland's hands".

    The first minister told a major rally in Glasgow the time would come to break away from the "chaos of Westminster" in a second independence poll next year.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said a new Scottish independence referendum was not "desirable or necessary".

    However Mr Corbyn has not ruled out allowing indyref2 if he becomes prime minister.

    Meanwhile Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has pledged to stop indyref2 "dead in its tracks" even if pro independence parties win a majority in Scotland.

    And Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has said there was a mandate to hold indyref2 and refusal to grant one could result in an even bigger majority of pro-independence parties returning to Holyrood in 2021.

  11. 'This bill is flawed; vote it down'

    Alex Rowley goes somewhat off topic as he lists UK-wide pledges from Labour.

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh intervenes to say this sounds like Mr Rowley is reading out the Labour manifesto and calls for an end to his electioneering.

    Rather than trying to rig a referendum the government should bring a halt to this legislation, says Scottish Labour's Brexit spokesperson.

    "This bill is flawed; vote it down."

  12. Bill is 'not required at this time' - Labour MSP

    Mr Rowley says trade with the rest of the UK is worth £50bn and a hard border with England would endanger this.

    This bill is not required at this time after we've gone through years of Tory austerity, the Labour MSP insists.

    An independent Scotland would be shaped by foreign direct investment, low taxes and austerity according to the Growth Commission he says.

  13. Labour MSP cannot support 'SNP indyref2 bill'

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley
    Image caption: Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Alex Rowley questions whether there is a need for this bill.

    The Labour MSP asks if the people of Scotland are demanding more referendums.

    He says: "The people of Scotland are sick fed up with constitutional conflict."

    "This bill is only really about one referendum and in fairness the SNP have made no secret of that."

    "This is the SNP indyref2 bill."

    Labour cannot support this bill as he believes it would create even more uncertainty and chaos.

  14. 'The Electoral Commission's full role must be restored'

    Pro independence and pro-union rallies

    Turning to the role of the Electoral Commission, the Tory MSP insists referendum questions must be tested but the bill as it stands would allow ministers to bypass the commission.

    He says expert and independent testing is key to establishing and maintaining confidence.

    "The Electoral Commission's full role must be restored," Mr Tomkins says.

    This is a bad bill which paves the way for a second independence referendum the people of Scotland do not want, he insists.

  15. Call for removal of provision of calling referendum by a click of 'ministerial fingers'

    Mr Tomkins says it is astonishing that there is a provision in the bill for a referendum to be called by "a click of his ministerial fingers".

    The Tory MSP argues experts call for section one to be removed from the bill with primary legislation being necessary for any future referendum in Scotland.

    He warns against ruling by diktat and reiterates the call for the provision to be excised.

    Mr Russell intervenes to argue secondary legislation is not ruling by "clicking his fingers".

  16. Tory MSPs will oppose this bill 'every step of the way'

    Tory MSP Adam Tomkins

    Tory MSP Adam Tomkins says this bill, for the SNP, is not about referendums in general but about indyref2.

    There is no issue other than independence which the SNP proposes to put to the people of Scotland, he states.

    Scottish Tory MSPs will oppose any attempt to have another referendum every step of the way and, as such, they will vote against this bill at each and every stage, Mr Tomkins confirms.

    Mr Tomkins argues if the general principles of this bill are bad it's details are worse and he accuses the Scottish government of attempting to "rig" the process.

  17. Background: What else the did constitution committee say?

    Independence rally and unionist counter-protest

    The committee also want changes to strip back the powers of ministers to call referendums and set the conditions for them.

    The bill as it stands would create a general structure for a contest so ministers can set the date, question and campaign period for any referendum without passing a new bill.

    The committee recommended this be changed so that new primary legislation was required for any referendum on a constitutional issue.

    They also said the margin of victory in any poll should be a simple majority.

    A petition had been lodged with the parliament calling for a two-thirds majority to be required for victory in a new independence ballot, but this was rejected by the committee and has also been dismissed by the Scottish Conservatives.