Scotland politics

UK and Scottish ministers in independence referendum deal

David Cameron and Alex Salmond
Image caption Mr Cameron and Mr Salmond are expected to meet next week in Edinburgh

Ministers from the UK and Scottish governments have reached a deal over the independence referendum.

BBC Scotland understands the final issues outstanding between the governments were resolved on Friday afternoon.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore spoke to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon by telephone.

Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond are to meet on Monday to sign the agreement.

The referendum is to be held in the autumn of 2014.

A joint statement issued by the governments said: "We have resolved the issues that remained outstanding between us and reached a positive conclusion to our discussions.

"The full agreement, including the terms of the section 30 order, will now go to the First Minister and the Prime Minister for their discussion and approval."

The final details agreed in talks included how the referendum will be paid for.

After the conclusion of talks, Mr Moore said: "I would like to thank Nicola Sturgeon for the constructive manner in which she has conducted these negotiations over recent weeks. I am very satisfied with the position we have arrived at.

"I am confident this agreement will be approved by the Prime Minister and First Minister on Monday and that Scotland will have a legal, fair and decisive referendum to decide whether we remain part of the United Kingdom."

Ms Sturgeon said: "Obviously, the final agreement is for discussion between the First Minister and Prime Minister on Monday.

"However, I believe we have reached a position that guarantees a referendum made in Scotland - which is exactly what we set out to do.

"I am grateful to Michael Moore for his constructive approach in recent weeks.

"I am now immensely looking forward to making the case for Scotland to have the full powers of independence that are necessary to build the prosperous and fair society that we all want."

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