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Live Reporting

Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. MSPs pass the referendums framework bill

    polling station

    That's all from BBC Scotland's Holyrood Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament in 2019.

    MSPs pass the Referendums (Scotland) Bill, with 68 votes to 54. Two MSPs abstained.

    The bill, also known as the 'indyref2 framework bill', would set the rules for a future independence referendum.

    However, ministers have accepted that further legislation would need to be passed before a vote could be held.

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell's compromise amendment which would allow the 2014 independence referendum question to be used again without further testing remains intact, despite opposition parties trying to oust it.

    Here's to a peaceful and happy festive period, enjoy the Christmas recess.

    Santa votes
    Image caption: That's all folks
  2. BreakingMSPs pass the Referendums (Scotland) Bill

    MSPs pass the Referendums (Scotland) Bill, with 68 MSPs backing it and with 54 against. There are two abstentions.

    Saltier ballot box
  3. Lib Dem dubs bill a 'nationalist charade'

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles

    Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles says the bill is not a technical, nor has the government designed it as a non-partisan bill.

    The two nationalist parties have fixed the terms of this bill to their own advantage, he suggests.

    Mr Rumbles accuses Mike Russell and Patrick Harvie of attempting to "hoodwink" MSPs over the views of the Electoral Commission.

    The Lib Dem MSP argues that what was meant to be a non-partisan bill has been turned into a "nationalist charade".

    "The bill stains our democracy," he concludes.

  4. Bill improves referendums framework insists Harvie

    Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie gets to his feet to express his support for this bill.

    Mr Harvie argues the bill was not adequate as introduced, but there have been significant improvements so his party will back it at decision time.

    He says there is a conflict between the sovereignty of parliament and the sovereignty of the people.

    We should look to Ireland if we want to improve the politics of referendums, he says.

    It actively brought in deliberative processes with citizen engagement, leading to much more unifying experiences, Mr Harvie elucidates.

    The Scottish Greens co-leader says he doesn't pretend MSPs can solve every aspect of the challenges to be faced as indyref2 is approached, which he believes is coming and necessary.

    However this bill improves the framework today, he argues.

  5. Indyref2 would create more uncertainty and chaos insists Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Alex Rowley agrees this bill is to pave the way for an independence referendum to take place next year.

    Labour cannot support this bill on that basis, he argues.

    We do not believe it is in Scotland's interest to create "even more uncertainty and even more chaos" while the Brexit process is still underway, the Labour MSP adds.

    Mr Rowley says the requirements to enter the EU would mean Scotland faces years of austerity and we still do not know whether its membership would be accept.

  6. This bill is redundant as there will be no indyref2 says Tomkins

    Mr Tomkins says this bill does not tell us whether referendums decide things or whether they are binding, or indeed how they are.

    The Tory MSP adds it does not address the question that has bedeviled British politics for the best part of three years: "What is the relationship between something that is decided by a referendum and a parliament that is then tasked with that delivery of that result?"

    He says the Electoral Commission's role is substantially reduced by the bill, which cannot be forgiven, but it has not been obliterated as Mr Russell wanted.

    The Tory MSP says this bill will only be used by the SNP for indyref2, but there won't be another independence referendum as there is a Conservative majority.

    "This people's government will not allow a second referendum," he concludes.

  7. This bill is about indyref2 insists and is 'a breach of trust'

    Tory MSP Adam Tomkins

    Tory MSP Adam Tomkins says this is a bill to pave the way for indyref2.

    This is demonstrated by the argument of question testing as there is only one question to which the validity period applies and that is the 2014 question on independence, he says.

    Mr Tomkins highlights the bill was announced as part of a wider statement on independence and there have been no answers on what other topics a vote could be held on.

    This bill has been promoted by the SNP in breach of trust and in breach of promise that the referendum was a once in a generation event the Tory MSP states.

  8. 'It is not a bill that produces an independence referendum' - Russell

    Mr Russell argues: "The reality of this bill provides the best practice for a referendum and then we move on."

    The bill does not resolve all the outstanding issues that exist, like how democracy is being affected by malign influences, he adds.

    We have worked with the Electoral Commission every step of the way and will continue to do so to address these, Mr Russell insists.

    The constitution secretary argues the bill now conforms with the requirements of the Electoral Commission.

    "It's a framework; it is not a bill that produces an independence referendum," he says.

  9. Referenda do not have to be divisive insists minister

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell says ensuring elections and referendums are run to a high standard is essential to any democracy.

    Referendums do not have to be divisive he insists, adding he hopes we can move forward in a positive spirit to any future referendum in Scotland.

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says it would be irresponsible to press ahead with a referendum on Scotland's constitutional future while the outcomes of Brexit are unclear.

    Mr Russell highlights this bill does not legislate for a second independence referendum, before arguing that we are in a position to judge what will happen after Brexit.

    The sooner we are able to have a decision, move on and be able to re-enter the EU, the better he adds.

  10. MSPs will now debate the indyref2 framework bill for the final time

    Flags

    MSPs will now debate the Referendums (Scotland) Bill for the final time, before voting on whether to pass it at decision time.

    The bill, also known as the 'indyref2 framework bill' would set the rules for a future independence referendum.

    However, ministers have accepted that further legislation would need to be passed before a vote could be held.

    Constitution Secretary Mike Russell's compromise amendment, aimed at resolving a row over whether the Electoral Commission would be allowed to test the question for a further independence referendum, was also agreed to, in the face of some opposition.

    The compromise remains in the bill despite opposition party efforts to ditch it.

  11. Early decision time as Christmas comes early

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh tells the chamber decision time is likely to be brought forward to just before 4.30pm.

    "Merry Christmas," he says.

    There's a five minute suspension of the parliament.

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

    Here's the question from 2014
    Image caption: Here's the question from 2014

    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.

    Mike Russell saw his amendment passed at Stage 2, which would allow the 2014 question to be used again without further testing, with six MSPs backing it and with five against.

    An effort to remove this section of the bill by Tory MSP Adam Tomkins failed earlier this afternoon.

    Read more.

  13. Scottish independence: Sturgeon requests powers for referendum

    Video content

    Video caption: Nicola Sturgeon calls for transfer of powers to allow indyref2

    Scotland's first minister has called on the UK government to negotiate a transfer of powers to Holyrood to allow another referendum on independence.

    Nicola Sturgeon said there was an "unarguable" mandate for a new vote after her SNP won 48 of Scotland's 59 seats in last week's general election.

    She said a document containing her arguments and draft legislation will be sent to the UK government today.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnsonremains opposed to holding another referendum.