Yesterday (26/01/12) was an historic moment in Scottish political history and a major step on the road to independence for Scotland, when First Minister Alex Salmond outlined the Scottish National Party’s proposal for a referendum on Scottish independence.
Speaking during his Ministerial Statement at Hollyrood, on the day that Scottish poet Robert Burns is traditionally remembered, FM Salmond announced the launch of the Referendum document `Your Scotland, Your Referendum’ and would deliver the “most important decision by the people of Scotland in 300 years” and must be beyond reproach”. FM Salmond confirmed that the question that his Government would put on the Referendum Paper would be “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”, but did not rule out the possibility of giving the people a choice of another `Devolution Max’ option on the same Paper, adding:
“If there is an alternative of maximum devolution which would command wide support in Scotland then it is only fair and democratic that option should be among the choices open to the people of Scotland.”
FM Salmond confirmed that his Party would like 16 year old to vote in the Referendum and that if the Electoral Commission regulated the Referendum, they should not be allowed to determine the question.
The announcement received criticism from the unionist Party leaders with the Labour Party’s Johann Lamont, the Liberal Democrat Party’s Willie Rennie and the Conservative Party’s Ruth Davidson, all calling for the Referendum vote, in some form or other, to toe the line set out by Prime Minister Cameron’s Westminster Government. FM Salmond stated that should the people vote for an independent Scotland, the first elections would likely be held for the Holyrood parliament on 5 May 2016.
At a press conference in Edinburgh castle where a reported 45 international press and media journalists quizzed FM Salmond for an hour on his plans, the SNP Leader quoted directly from Scotland’s poet, Robert Burns – who is traditionally remembered on 25th January – by arguing:
“I want Scotland to be independent, not because I think we are better than any other country, but because I know we are just as good as any other country.”
Viewers can see the debate at the link below (restrictions on viewing apply):
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.