After a considerable delay, and a month later than originally promised, the Scottish Government published its proposals for a referendum on independence last week. The Government’s news release is here, and the consultation paper itself is here. News coverage from the Caledonian Mercury is here, from the Scotsman here and here, and the Herald here. Brian Taylor’s view is here. The rather predictable attack from Jim Murphy is here. As is by now well known, this is only a consultation document, which sets out two questions (rather than a single multiple-choice one), to canvass a range of options from the status quo via some form of enhanced devolution to independence. It also proposes not to use the Electoral Commission to regulate the referendum, but an ad hoc ‘Scottish Referendum Commission’ to do so.
Clearly a major part of the SNP’s approach is to keep the issue alive during and after the UK general election, given the promises of the unionist parties to minimise debate of the bill when it’s introduced at Holyrood (a tactic that seems to have misfired).
I’ll write further about this when I’ve had a chance to digest it and its implications.