It was announced in Edinburgh today, by First Minister Alex Salmond, that the Scottish independence referendum will take place on 18 September 2014.
Voters will be asked “Should Scotland be an independent country?” with the answer options of yes or no.
Previously SNP ministers said that the referendum would take place in 2014, many opposition parties deemed this unfair for voters.
When speaking in the Scottish Parliament today, Mr Salmond said: “It’s worth, just for a moment on the privilege this nation and this generation will have – nothing less than choosing the future course of our country.”
Salmond went on to say that the referendum day will be a historical one.
SNP’s majority in the Scottish Parliament will mean that the arrangements for the vote in the Scottish independence referendum bill will be assured and legislation will be passed.
Scottish ministers say that if the country votes yes Scotland will be able to build a better country by using its natural assets.
Other opposing parties supported Scotland’s union with the UK.
Johann Lamont, leader of Scottish Labour, said: “The truth is, Alex Salmond knows if he held the referendum now, he wouldn’t just lose it, he would be routed.
“All the self-aggrandizement of today isn’t just a sign of the first minister’s usual pomposity.
A separate draft legislation, introduced by the Scottish government, will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the ballot.
The Scottish government have said the legislation of the vote would make sure that:
- The referendum would have a 16 week campaign period on the run up to the 18 September 2014, with limited spending from each campaigner to ensure a level debate from both sides
- The independent Electoral Commission watchdog will oversea the vote, they are responsible for regulating campaign rules and informing the public
- The ballot is conducted by direction of a chief counting officer