A Referendum on Scottish Independence
In its response to the UK and Scottish Governments' proposals for a referendum on Scottish independence, the RSE believes that the UK and Scottish Governments should make every effort to arrive at an agreement as to the terms of an Order made under section 30 of the Scotland Act. Such an Order would require the approval of both Parliaments and should remove doubt as to the power of the Scottish Parliament to legislate for the referendum. The alternative of the UK Parliament legislating directly for a referendum to be held by it seems unsatisfactory in view of the limited role for the Scottish Parliament.
It is essential that voters have all the information they need to enable them to make an informed choice in the referendum. It is of critical importance that the full implications of the alternatives are clearly articulated before the referendum takes place. These considerations indicate that the argument for holding the referendum in the second half of the current session of the Scottish Parliament, to allow sufficient time for reflection, information and debate, is persuasive.