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Scottish parliament passes referendum bill

Press TV – November 15, 2013

The parliament of Scotland has passed a legislation to hold a referendum on Scottish independence from the rule of the United Kingdom.

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) unanimously approved on Thursday the bill, which sets out the independence referendum rules, including campaign spending limits and the question that will be put to voters.

The law confirms that Scottish people will vote in a referendum on September 18 next year on the yes/no question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The bill will also allow those aged 16 and 17 on the referendum day in Scotland to take part in the poll.

Moreover, an independent electoral commission will oversee the vote, which is planned to be preceded by a 16-week campaign period.

During a debate before MSPs approved the bill, Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “proud” that the parliament was “passing legislation that will put Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hand.”

“I hope the people of Scotland will seize that opportunity, seize that future, seize that prospect of a better Scotland with a resounding yes vote in September next year,” she added.

The legislation on the independence referendum came as latest census figures showed that nearly two thirds of Scotland’s population identify themselves as “Scottish only.”

According to the results of the 2011 survey on national identity released in September, 62.4 percent of Scotland’s 5.3 million residents feel they are “Scottish only,” compared to the 18.3 percent who consider themselves to be “Scottish and British only.”

The independence referendum could result in Scotland’s break-up from the United Kingdom after more than 300 years of political union.

November 15, 2013 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , ,

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