Salmond to select timing of Scottish referendum
David Cameron is prepared to let Alex Salmond select the timing of the Scottish referendum and the wording of the question provided voters are offered a straight "yes or no" choice, it emerged yesterday.
Aides say the Prime Minister is also willing to allow 16 and 17 year olds to cast their vote in the poll – a key demand of the Scottish Nationalist Party because young people are considered more likely to back independence.
But one issue on which Mr Cameron is not prepared to budge is the number of options that would be put to the Scottish electorate.
SNP officials are thought to be keen on offering voters a third "devo-max" option which would allow them to express a preference for the Scottish Parliament to be given more powers short of full independence.
But Mr Cameron, buoyed by new research showing a fall in support in Scotland for independence following the success of Team GB at the Olympic Games, is adamant that voters should be presented with a straight "in or out of the Union" choice, arguing that any decision to increase the authority of the Holyrood parliament can be enacted by legislation in the Commons without a referendum.
A weekend poll of Scottish voters suggests that over the Olympic period opinion shifted in favour of staying within the United Kingdom,
The sample of 1,177 adults question by YouGov, for the Scottish Mail on Sunday, produced a majority of 60 per cent opposed to Scotland becoming an independent country, with 27 per cent in favour and 13 undecided.
The poll also showed nearly two thirds of 18 to 24 year old opposed to separation from the rest of the UK. This contrasts with a YouGov poll taken at the end of last month when 54 per cent were opposed to independence, 30 per cent were in favour, and 16 undecided.
Last week the Scottish minister David Mundell and the SNP's Bruce Crawford thrashed out a timetable to get the necessary legislation through by February to make it possible to hold the referendum in the first half of next year.
The Scottish First Secretary Alex Salmond and the Scottish Secretary Michael Moore are due to begin talks on the other details in September.
"The timing is not a barrier to negotiation, though we think the sooner the better, and we're prepared to have discussion about the wording and the voting age. We want a decision on these things by October," a Downing Street spokesman said yesterday.
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
LAPD releases haunting crime scene photos from its archives
Peaches Geldof funeral: Bob Geldof leads tributes at emotional service in same church she married husband Thomas Cohen and mother Paula Yates was buried
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge photographed with Prince George off-duty may spark privacy row
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 1 Revealed: Scientists ‘edit’ DNA to correct adult genes and cure diseases
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
£55000 - £62000 per annum + outstanding benefits and bonus: Pro-Recruitment Gr...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Reception teacher required for an Outs...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...
£90 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job We are currently recr...