Nicola Sturgeon promises 'fair referendum' on Scottish independence
Sunday 21 October 2012
Scotland's Deputy First Minister insisted the country's future would not be “bought and sold” as she hit out at Westminster over the spending limits for the independence referendum campaign.
Nicola Sturgeon, also the Scottish Government's Infrastructure and Constitution Secretary, was involved in the negotiations that led to the signing of a deal for the key constitutional ballot.
Talks between the two administrations managed to resolve disputes over issues such as the number of questions that should be on the ballot paper.
But Ms Sturgeon said the issue that had "most exercised" the UK Government during the discussions was that of campaign funding.
In its referendum consultation, the Scottish National Party (SNP) administration at Holyrood proposed spending limits of £750,000 for campaign organisations - the pro-independence Yes Scotland organisation and its rival Better Together, which wants to keep Scotland in the UK.
It also proposed that political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament could spend a maximum of £250,000.
The spending limits would only apply to the four month period in the run up to the independence vote, to be held in the autumn of 2014.
In her speech to the SNP annual conference in Perth Ms Sturgeon stressed the referendum must be "decided fairly and squarely".
She said: "The issue that most exercised the UK Government during the negotiations was campaign funding. They think that the limits proposed in our consultation are too low."
And she added: "Let me be clear. We will set the spending limits with care. We will listen to our consultation. We will listen to the Electoral Commission. We will listen to both campaign organisations.
"Then we will take a decision that is right for Scotland. A decision that guarantees a level playing field and a fair contest.
"Make no mistake, this time round Scotland's future will not be bought and sold for anyone's gold."
Ms Sturgeon also insisted that letting 16 and 17 year olds vote in the referendum was the "right thing to do".
In his speech to the conference yesterday First Minister Alex Salmond announced legislation will be introduced at Holyrood within weeks so all young people in this age group can take part in the ballot.
Ms Sturgeon said today: "Young people who can marry, have kids and pay taxes will get the right to vote on the future of our country."
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...