Independence deadline is looming

Published: 11 May 2012 12:000 comments

TODAY (Friday) is the last day that people can take part in the Scottish Government's consultation on its Independence Referendum.

FIRST MINISTER: Alex Salmond

The SNP government, led by First Minister Alex Salmond, has called for as many people as possible to make their views known.

It plans to hold the vote in autumn 2014 and is posing a range of questions including whether 16-17 year-oldsshould be allowed to vote and whether there should be a Devo Max option giving more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

According to the Government, 21,000 responses have already been received this is the third highest consultation in the history of devolution - behind only the same-sex marriage and smoking in public places consultations, and over seven-times the level of response to the UK Government's consultation.

Cabinet Secretary for Government Strategy Bruce Crawford also announced that as well as the Electoral Commission having responsibility for regulating the referendum - as set out in the consultation document - the Scottish Government also propose that the Commission will test the ballot paper.

This will be done in autumn/winter 2012, as provided for in the referendum timetable detailed on page 14 of the consultation document.

The Electoral Commission will be responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the role that it will play in the referendum.

Thanking all those who have taken the time to make their views known, Mr Crawford said: "We have had a fantastic response from the people of Scotland, with over 21,000 contributions to the consultation - over seven times the number that responded to the UK Government's consultation on the same issue.

"This positive response also sends a clear signal that the people of Scotland believe the Scottish Parliament is the place to decide the terms and timing of the referendum - and that these should not be imposed by Westminster. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to make their views known."

If you wish to take part visit www.scotreferendum.com - the consultation closes at midnight.

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