Alex Salmond close to deal on Scottish referendum
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Thursday 30 August 2012
The Coalition is "close to agreement" with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on the terms of an independence referendum, it will announce today.
The Government will drop its demand for an early vote, allowing the Scottish National Party to delay the plebiscite until 2014. But in return, the SNP would have to agree to a single "yes or no" question on the ballot paper, dropping the so-called "devo max" option of further devolution short of full independence.
Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, will today warn the SNP that pressing ahead without approval would almost certainly result in a legal challenge on the grounds that the Scottish Government does not have the power to call a vote.
Mr Salmond is expected to announce his referendum plans shortly. The "devo max" option is seen as an insurance policy for the SNP in case full independence is rejected, as the latest opinion polls suggest.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...