Report: Scottish independence referendum deal

Key Points

  • Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond met in Edinburgh to sign an agreement about the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
  • The historic deal paves the way for a referendum to take place in autumn 2014, with a single Yes/No question on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
  • The agreement, which has been worked on for the last few months, will see the voter age lowered, allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to take part in the referendum.

Join the discussion

Comment here

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.
Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Terms and conditions

  1.  
    1128:

    Hello and welcome to our live text and video coverage of the signing of the deal on the Scottish independence referendum. Prime Minister David Cameron will be in Edinburgh shortly to meet First Minister Alex Salmond. They are expected to formally agree the process by which the historic vote will be held in the autumn of 2014.

     
  2.  
    Information Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    "The referendum deal between Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond has two elements.

    1. "There will be a statutory order to be legislated at Westminster - that will grant Holyrood the power to hold a referendum provided it is a single question on independence and it is held by the end of 2014. The order will also cover issues such as campaign broadcasts and mail shots.
    2. "There will also be a six page Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by the leaders. This will confirm that the details of the referendum will be settled at Holyrood but explain what the two governments intend to happen. It will feature a significant role for the Electoral Commission in advising on the wording of the question and the running of the referendum."
     
  3.  
    The Guardian's Patrick Wintour

    tweets: Scottish ref.: pms "most important decision for Scotland for 300 years", but 16-17 year olds only allowed to vote on this, and nothing else.

     
  4.  
    Colin Greene

    tweets: I'd love to know how the Westminster government is going to educate/influence Scottish 14 & 15 year olds of today to vote pro-Union in 2014.

     
  5.  
    1155:

    The front pages of Scotland's broadsheet newspapers have all focused on the historic meeting. The Scotsman claims the agreement includes a sunset clause which dictates that the vote will happen before the end of 2014, and The Herald says a mechanism has been found that would give 16-year-olds the right to vote in the referendum.

     
  6.  
    Background Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

    The Liberal Democrats have praised the role played by their Scottish Secretary Michael Moore in brokering the independence referendum deal. Mr Moore concluded the deal in a series of meetings with Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister. Willie Rennie, the Scottish Lib Dem leader, said Mr Moore had acted throughout in a "calm, patient and professional" manner.

     
  7.  
    Zarah, Aberlour

    emails: Voting will be easy when we get some facts on the table. Alex Salmon needs to open up about his plans and allow the people of Scotland to make an informed choice. We need to be clear about Europe the Monarchy and Sterling. I so want to be able to say yes like most but we need clear answers.

     
  8.  
    Malcolm Gall, Abroath

    emails: Independence has to happen for the future of this country. There are 5.5 million people in Scotland and if we can manage our own resources we can kick on as a nation.

     
  9.  
    Donald Young, Stonehaven

    emails: I'm a fiercely proud Scot and spent my years growing up dreaming of a free Scotland. However now allegedly being a mature 40, the thought of independence seems like a bit of a suicide pact. I don't believe it's fiscally possible to separate, I don't believe we have the infrastructure to go it alone.

     
  10.  
    1205:

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who helped negotiate the deal, told BBC Scotland the agreement "guarantees a referendum made in Scotland". She said earlier this year the prime minister had wanted to dictate the timing of the vote, the question and the franchise. She said none of these things will now happen. "I think it's good we've got an agreed process that will lead to an outcome that can be respected by all sides," she said.

     
  11.  
    Chris Tye

    tweets: Scottish Independence affects the whole of the UK. We should all be able to vote on it.

     
  12.  
    Information Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland
  13.  
    1207:

    Ladbrokes quoting odds of 5-2 against a "yes" vote. They make a "no" seven-to-two on.

     
  14.  
    1207:
    David Cameron David Cameron visiting Rosyth Dock Yard in Fife

    Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to shipyard workers at Rosyth in Fife ahead of the historic Scottish referendum deal signing in Edinburgh.

     
  15.  
    Hugh Walters

    tweets: I'm Scottish living in Oxford. I wouldn't expect to vote on Scottish independence as it wouldn't affect me.

     
  16.  
    1209:

    First Minister Alex Salmond has been allowed to set the date of the referendum, which will be in the autumn of 2014. That year is the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, an important victory in Scotland's fight for independence 700 years ago. It's also the year Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games.

     
  17.  
    1215:

    Politics expert Prof John Curtice, from Strathclyde University, told the BBC the agreement means both sides accept the referendum result would be politically binding. He said: "If there is a Yes vote the UK government accepts that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom and equally if there's a No vote Alex Salmond is accepting that the issue is off the agenda for a generation."

     
  18.  
    Information

    How to follow the day's events....

    • * Stay with our Live event page.
    • * Follow the debate on social media by signing up to the BBC's @breakingnews Twitter feed.
    • * For updates and analysis throughout the day tune in to BBC Radio Scotland, which is on digital and also on 92-95 FM and 810 MW.
    • * Watch live on the BBC News channel.
    • * Switch on to a special hour-long Reporting Scotland, starting at 18:30 on BBC One.
    • * And for a round-up on the day's events and further analysis, don't miss an extended Newsnight Scotland programme starting at 23:00 on BBC Two Scotland.
     
  19.  
    Crispin Pemberton

    tweets: Someone please explain why everyone in the UK doesn't have a vote on Scottish independence? It's everyone's union, surely. #referendum

     
  20.  
    1219:

    On the issue of 16 and 17-year-old's being given the vote, the Scottish government has said the principle enjoys wide political support. It pointed out that the Lib Dem and Green Parties have expressed support for lowering the voting age for elections, and said Labour supported a move to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the 2011 UK referendum on the Alternative Vote.

     
  21.  
    John, Aberdeen

    texts: It's time for all other parties bar the SNP to start playing down the whole referendum. Alex Salmond wants it so Alex Salmond can deal with it. Let the SNP tell us who'll be calculating our taxes; what'll happen to the DVLA, passports etc. Dare I go on!!!

     
  22.  
    John, London

    emails: The SNP want the people of Scotland to choose for themselves but there is no talk for Scots living in England to vote. However English living in Scotland will have the right to vote. Is that fair? Certainly not! It is a matter involving the UK and should be voted on by the UK.

     
  23.  
    Colin, Forfar

    texts: The Edinburgh Agreement means that the choice is clear. For a progressive future which is in our own hands Scots must vote YES. A no vote means that Scotland will stagnate as a withered appendage of the UK - a moribund state eternally focussed on a fading past.

     
  24.  
    Paul, Berlin

    emails: As a Scot living in Germany, I've had so many conversations about independence since arriving here. The world is watching and waiting ...no pressure, Scotland!

     
  25.  
    1226: Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh and shakes First Minister Alex Salmond's hand ahead of the historic meeting which paves the way for a referendum on Scotttish independence in 2014.

     
  26.  
    1225: Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    This evening, there's expected to be a statement on the referendum deal in the House of Commons, delivered by Scotland Office Minister David Mundell, possibly about 17:30

     
  27.  
    Richard Williams

    tweets: everyone should be able to vote on the future of the union not just the Scottish. It's everyones future.

     
  28.  
    Steven, Markinch

    texts: To those who are asking why the whole UK can't vote, I would say two words: "Self determination". It is up to the people of Scotland to choose their own future.

     
  29.  

    @BBCJamesCook There is a solitary shout of boo as David Cameron arrives for a carefully stage-managed photo call in front of St Andrew's House.

     
  30.  
    Information
    Pie chart of 16 & 17-year-old voters The new franchise would include a small addition of 16 and 17-year-olds

    It's mooted that 16 and 17-year-olds will be allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum of autumn 2014. But what proportion of the Scottish population are we talking about?

     
  31.  
    Tom Startup

    tweets: If 16/17 year olds will be able to vote in Scottish referendum, surely they should be able to in general elections? #aspolitics #democracy

     
  32.  
    1236:

    Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, who helped iron out the deal with the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, said the agreement allows voters "to make the most important political decision in our lives, in fact the most important political decision in Scotland's 300 years". He said the referendum would be "fair, decisive and made in Scotland".

     
  33.  
    Liv McLennan

    tweets: Re Scottish referendum vote ...unlucky if you're not living there, I'm afraid. Unless it is opened up to the whole of the UK? #scotland

     
  34.  
    Calum, Sweden

    emails: Only those living in Scotland should be allowed to vote, for practical and logical reasons. Giving all Scots who live outside Scotland the vote would be logistically impossible and morally wrong. If you choose to live somewhere else you don't get to decide on Scotland's future.

     
  35.  
    David Mowat, Edinburgh

    emails: How can David Cameron agree to allow 16/17 year-olds the vote? No one has consulted the people on such a change and the significant constitutional implications for the future.

     
  36.  
    Andrew Smith

    texts: I worked for 2 1/2 years in Glasgow, and nobody was talking about nor interested in independence.

     
  37.  
    1244:

    First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The agreement will see Scotland take an important step toward independence, and the means to create a fairer and more prosperous Scotland. I look forward to working positively for a yes vote in 2014."

     
  38.  
    Wings Over Scotland

    tweets: @BBC_haveyoursay What exactly are people proposing? That if Scotland votes to leave the UK, the rest of the UK can keep it prisoner?

     
  39.  
    Alex Salmond and David Cameron shake hands outside St Andrew's House Alex Salmond and David Cameron shake hands outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh

    David Cameron has pledged that keeping the United Kingdom together is his number one priority. "This marks the beginning of an important chapter in Scotland's story and allows the real debate to begin," he said. "It paves the way so that the biggest question of all can be settled: a separate Scotland or a United Kingdom? I will be making a very positive argument for our United Kingdom."

     
  40.  
    1248:

    The main players are now all inside a room in St Andrew's House. David Cameron is sitting alongside his Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Alex Salmond is seated across the table, alongside his deputy Nicola Sturgeon.

     
  41.  

    ‏@euanmccolm diplomatic embarrassment at #edag with #salmond failing to bring token gift. Sheepishly accepts complete peep show box set from cameron.

     
  42.  
    Analysis Nick Robinson Political editor

    "They shake hands. They smile for the cameras. They hail an agreement which allows the people of Scotland to determine their own future. However, both men will know that there can only be one winner......" Read more

     
  43.  
    Information

    If you want to follow the debate on twitter, use #edag #referendum and #indyref

     
  44.  

    @paulhutcheon I sense frustration in the @scottishlabour camp at Cameron/Salmond getting all the attention today

     
  45.  
    1304:

    The BBC's Norman Smith describes the signing of the agreement as a "momentous political occasion" and a moment of truth for both Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

     
  46.  
    1306:
    David Cameron, Michael Moore, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond Political leaders gather for the referendum deal signing

    The main players - Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister Alex Salmond get ready to sign the independence referendum deal.

     
  47.  
    Iago, in Pontypridd, Wales,

    texts: Scotland is not splitting, they will be forming a new relationship with each of the nations and Europe, their decision, their future. Good luck with the yes campaign, wish I could vote yes too. Then I hope Wales, England and Northern Ireland also gain sovereignty / Irish reunification for a better future for each of our nations.

     
  48.  
    Michael Easson,

    texts: I earnestly hope that an independent report is provided on the details of the referendum, that way we can make an informed choice about our future.

     
  49.  
    Information

    What have Scotland's politicians said in the past on the issue of 16 and 17-year-olds voting? The BBC's School Report pupils asked Alex Salmond what he thought. Youngsters also spoke to Scotland's Labour leader Johann Lamont; the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie.

     
  50.  
    @mickymobile,

    tweets: So the #Referendum campaign begins in #Scotland Self Governance, Scottish people deciding what's best for Scotland #YesScot

     
  51.  
    Mel,

    texts: English tax payers will not have to subsidise the free prescriptions, free university education the list goes on and on. Don't forget the Scottish prime ministers and bankers who have wrecked England.

     
  52.  
    @Sea_Penguin5, in Scotland,

    tweets: If there's a yes vote, I'm emigrating. #referendum

     
  53.  
    1317:

    The Prime Minister David Cameron told workers at Rosyth shipyard who are building the largest warship for the Royal Navy that it was a "UK success story". He said: "I think this is the success story that the whole of the United Kingdom can take great pride in. Just as the Olympics showed what we can do when we come together, you're showing it right here in Rosyth with this incredible feat of engineering."

     
  54.  
    The offical twitter page for Prime Minister, David Cameron,

    tweets: PM "Met workers on new UK aircraft carrier - later will sign historic agreement on Scottish Independence Referendum" pic.twitter.com/36gQI9Ha

     
  55.  
    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Two leaders, one winner: Scotland's independence battle lines are drawn http://bbc.in/XcVAnb

     
  56.  
    1326: Breaking News

    An historic agreement has been signed allowing Scots to hold a referendum on independence. The deal was finalised by David Cameron and Alex Salmond at the Scottish government's headquarters in Edinburgh. The vote will be held in the autumn of 2014.

     
  57.  
    Alex Salmond and David Cameron sign the agreement allowing Scots to hold a vote on independence Alex Salmond and David Cameron sign the agreement allowing an independence vote

    Prime Minister David Cameron and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond signed the referendum agreement during a meeting at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh.

     
  58.  
    1332:
    The referendum agreement signed by David Cameron, Alex Salmond, Michael Moore and Nicola Sturgeon The deal has been dubbed "The Edinburgh Agreement"

    The deal, which has been dubbed "The Edinburgh Agreement", follows months of negotiations about the ballot.

     
  59.  
    Iain, in Aberdeen, Scotland,

    emails: UK taxpayers do not subsidise Scottish free prescriptions, higher education, etc. The Scottish government chooses to spend some of its money on such things, while Westminster does not. Also, the people of the UK will get a say on Scotland's position within the union. If Scotland votes yes, everyone else gets to vote on whether to let it go.

     
  60.  
    David, in Edinburgh, Scotland,

    emails: I certainly won't be voting for independence but that could change. I will not let that change come about by anything any politician says without looking into the details myself. I hope others take it upon themselves to do the same. Even though I am against independence I don't think we should have to wait another 300 years to be asked again.

     
  61.  
    Gary, in Kilmarnock, Scotland,

    emails: I have three kids aged three, six and eight. If they are to have a full democratic voice in the years ahead then Scotland needs to vote Yes. Anything else and we will have betrayed our future generations.

     
  62.  
    Information

    You posed a whole host of questions about an independent Scotland after Alex Salmond announced his intention to hold the poll. You wanted to know.....

    • * will there be a Scottish passport?
    • * will Scotland be a member of the EU?
    • * what will happen to state pensions?
    • * and What would the Scottish Army look like?

    BBC reporters Steven Brocklehurst and Andrew Black attempted to answer the questions.

     
  63.  
    @jhon_calrk,

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay What would the status of Scottish MPs be. Surely if Scotland is independent they cannot be in Westminster

     
  64.  
    @CDHBlackwell ,

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay So Scots living overseas for the last 15 years can vote in the referendum but not those in England Wales or NI?!

     
  65.  
    Information

    Alex Salmond is expected to hold a news conference in the next hour to answer questions from the media on the Scottish independence referendum deal.

     
  66.  
    The Telegraph newspaper,

    blogs: Independence would save Scots taxpayers £1.5 billion defence bill, think tank claims

     
  67.  
    No 10 press office,

    tweets: #indyref agreement aspects that req law change will be presented to @ukparliament by s.30 order. Westminster & Scot Parliament to approve

     
  68.  

    David Leask ‏@Leasky Catalan leader today: first thing I will do if I win coming elections is ask Madrid to negotiate Scottish-style #indyref deal.

     
  69.  
    Iain, Edinburgh, Scotland,

    emails: I think that this process shows how well two governments can work together to resolve problems. It augers well for Britain after the Union is ended.

     
  70.  
    1359:

    The agreement allows 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote - a move welcomed by Blair Jenkins, who is running the campaign for a Yes to independence vote in the referendum. He said: "That's a very important point of principle that they get to vote. And I think it will be an interesting challenge for the No campaign when they talk to 16 and 17 year olds to say: 'Please back us. Remember us. We're the people who tried to deny you having a say in the future of your country'."

     
  71.  
    1358:
    Agreement being signed

    The agreement was signed in front of a map showing what? Could it be the extent of the SNP landslide at the last Scottish election in May 2011?

     
  72.  
    Owen, in London,

    emails: What about the democratic voice of those who see themselves as British? Not English or Scottish. I have a Scottish father, an English mother and I spent the first 25 years of my life in Wales. Why do I not have a say on the future of my country that I see as a whole, not four individual parts?

     
  73.  
    1401:

    After the deal was signed, Labour's Margaret Curran, the shadow Scottish Secretary, said: "It's very important that if the Scottish government are proposing that 16 and 17 year-olds get to vote, that we do that in an effective way. You'll have the European elections in the June of that year and you'll have a general election some months after. It would be quite bizarre I think if 16 and 17-year-olds could vote in the referendum but not in those. And as things currently stand, as I understand it from the proposals from the SNP, some 16 and 17-year-olds would get to vote, but not others. So I think we've still got some way to go on this."

     
  74.  
    Robert, Chirnside, Berwickshire, Scotland,

    emails: Lambs to the slaughter! What happens after the Barnet Formula goes? The never worked and never will crowd will lose their benefits, free subscriptions will go, free bus passes? The Clyde submarine base will close, 1200 jobs lost. Scotland can't sustain itself financially. Forget north sea oil, that will go.

     
  75.  
    1406:

    David Cameron said he would be arguing to "keep the family together, to keep the kingdom united."

     
  76.  
    1406:

    Speaking to the BBC after the agreement was signed, the prime minister said "one single, simple question was always the key". He added: "Now we've dealt with the process let's get into the real issues."

     
  77.  
    Paul, Aberdeen

    emails: Best opportunity to change Scotland for the better we'll ever get.

     
  78.  
    1413: Breaking News

    Here is the agreement which has been signed by PM David Cameron and FM Alex Salmond.

     
  79.  
    1413:

    Mr Cameron said further devolution could be on the table if Scotland votes to stay in the Union. He said: "I've always taken the view that we have to first settle the question, does Scotland want to stay in the United Kingdom. If the answer is yes, then obviously further devolution is possible."

     
  80.  
    Michael Abrahams

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Could England & Wales have a referendum on the West Lothian Question on the same day as the Scottish referendum? Seems fair

     
  81.  
    Stuart Morrison

    tweets: Remember folks, independence is for life; not just for Christmas! #indyref @bbc_haveyoursay

     
  82.  
    Owen Murray

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Why can't I vote on future of my country? Dad's Scottish, Mum's English & grew up in Wales. Don't see 4 parts - see 1whole.

     
  83.  
    1417:

    William Hill offering 7-1 against Scotland being fully independent by 2020. Odds of Scotland not being independent 16-to-one on.

     
  84.  
    1420:

    First Minister Alex Salmond will shortly hold a news conference about the Scottish independence referendum deal.

     
  85.  
    Sam, Scotland

    emails: People in Scotland really need to start educating themselves on this debate. Most of the facts are already out there if not all of them. Why do people in this country expect politicians to spoon feed them information? Take the few hours required out of your "busy lives" to research a matter and make a decision which will affect all people in this country for generations.

     
  86.  
    Bill Cruickshank, Dinnet, Scotland

    emails: This is the first time in 305 years that the people of Scotland have had the opportunity to vote for their independence, they must take it with both hands. There is absolutely no reason why Scotland cannot rejoin the international community of nations and be an independent nation again.

     
  87.  
    Emily, Aberdeen

    emails: As an English born person currently and permanently living in Scotland I'll be voting yes. Scotland has a wealth of natural resources, a sustainably sized population and is perfectly capable of looking after its own affairs. Westminster could be a million miles away for all they understand about Scottish values. It may be a turbulent adjustment immediately post independence but I believe worth it in the long run. Doomsayers patronise and belittle the capabilities of the Scottish populace.

     
  88.  
    1430:

    Speaking after the signing ceremony, First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The Edinburgh Agreement, signed by the Scottish and UK governments today, marks a significant step in Scotland's Home Rule journey. Importantly, it will ensure that the biggest decision the people of our country will make for many generations is made here in Scotland for the benefit of all of those that live and work here. This will be a referendum designed and delivered by the Scottish Parliament. Today's accord marks agreement on the process and respect for the outcome, from both sides. In my view, it paves the way for a new partnership in these islands."

     
  89.  
    Darren, England

    emails: What happens to the military? Does Army/Navy/RAF withdraw from Scotland and relocate the bases throughout the remaining UK? Would that not destroy tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses? Would the Scottish members of HM Armed Forces be re-deployed to a new Scottish military?

     
  90.  
    1433:

    Grant Costello, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, described moves to lower the voting age as "a seminal moment on a historic day for Scottish democracy."

     
  91.  
    Warren Swane

    tweets: I can't help but think Alex Salmond made a big mistake. Including England in the vote would have been the best way of achieving his aims!

     
  92.  
    Gary, London

    emails: As a nation we have to be better together, but if the Scots vote to go alone, then I wish you "Good Luck" as you'll need it. Smaller population than England, lower tax revenues and more welfare costs. Oil will pay for it? Well, as a commodity the price of oil fluctuates and to base an economy around a diminishing and price sensitive resource doesn't seem the best idea in the world.

     
  93.  
    1434:
    David Cameron PM David Cameron leaves St Andrew's House in Edinburgh

    First Minister Alex Salmond begins his news conference as Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Edinburgh following the signing of the agreement.

     
  94.  
    1436:
    Alex Salmond Alex Salmond holds a news conference

    "We now have an agreement on process", FM Alex Salmond tells the gathered media.

     
  95.  
    Alan Kinnear, Glasgow

    emails: : I am as Scottish as British. I will be voting "No" as I am against separation. I have as much in common with someone from Manchester or Devon as I do with someone from Fraserburgh or Uist. This is for politicians to gain more power for themselves, not for "the people". The UK works together and lives together with common institutions, values and morals. I have family and friends all over the UK and to create a barrier makes no sense politically, economically or socially.

     
  96.  
    1436:

    FM: There will be respect for the outcome of the vote, whatever it is. That is how it should be.

     
  97.  
    damo donut mo

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay I take it the SNP are going to take back their two bust banks with the deal?

     
  98.  
    1438:

    FM: "I believe we will win by setting out a positive vision. That is what will carry the day. I believe it was crucial to have this agreement, so we can go on to deal with the arguments," Mr Salmond says.

     
  99.  
    1440:

    FM, answering questions on date of vote: Does he have a date in mind? Yes and no. Will listen to views of the Scottish Parliament.

     
  100.  
    Felicity Carlysle

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay I am currently studying in Scotland, this vote could have a real effect on my future but my home address means I get no say.

     
  101.  
    1441:

    FM: Agrees with reporter who suggests he will have to get support for independence up if he is to win the vote. Says the result of the last Scottish election shows how campaigns can be won.

     
  102.  
    1442:

    Question to FM on British sporting successes. We are not in the business, he says, of ripping things up. Will be seeking a better relationship with people elsewhere in the British Isles.

     
  103.  
    Colin Rendall, Melkridge, Northumberland

    emails: For all the predictable claims that Edinburgh "is a million miles from London", Scotland's separatists entirely overlook the truth that Shetlanders believe that Lerwick is a million miles from Edinburgh and a lot closer to London.

     
  104.  
    1444:

    FM says he would be happy to take part in a debate with David Cameron... "next week, next year, anytime".

     
  105.  
    Sky News joeyjones

    tweets: Really is a packed house for salmond press conference. There's even an overspill room!

     
  106.  
    1446:

    FM says unionist parties are free to bring forward their ideas for improving devolution. Suggests that they haven't done so because of a lack of ideas. Attacks proposals to reduce universal benefits as an example of how the gains from devolution could be lost in the future.(This is a reference to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont's commission into free-for-all benefits.)

     
  107.  
    William, London

    emails: I'm constantly surprised that the people of England are never considered in this debate. Where is the English referendum to decide whether the English populace wants Scotland to remain part of the union? The English should consider whether or not we want Scottish voters to continue influencing our politics any longer. The recent poll showing that a higher proportion of those polled in England wanted Scottish independence than those in Scotland was very telling indeed.

     
  108.  
    1448:

    FM asked about submissions to the Scottish government's consultation process. Says they will be published in "the next few weeks". Suggests it was Westminster which was against devo-plus option on the ballot paper.

    The consultations....

    UK government Scottish government

    Announced on 10 January, 2012

    Announced on 25 January, 2012

    Closed on 9 March, 2012

    Closed on 11 May, 2012

    Attracted 3,000 responses

    Attracted 26,000 responses

     
  109.  
    Dan

    texts: As the oil actually belongs to the Shetland and Orkney islanders will Alex Salmond allow them a referendum on joining Norway where there historical heart belongs?

     
  110.  
    1452:

    FM says the timing of any possible referendum on UK's membership of EU isn't a matter for him. Won't influence timing of the Scottish referendum vote.

     
  111.  
    Mervyn Pollard, Llanelli

    emails: This is all reminiscent of Quebec wanting to separate from Canada, until they were told they would have to have their own currency, their own border controls, their own military, their own power grid, their own transportation maintenance ie. roads, rail, and air infrastructure. If the Scots can afford all that without going bust, then let 'em go.

     
  112.  
    1450:

    FM says the white paper - to be published next year - will spell out the SNP government's vision for independence. Devolution was a good precedent, he says.

     
  113.  
    1455:

    FM asked about fiscal autonomy and use of Sterling. He points out that Scotland has traditionally had a fiscal surplus - giving it a healthier position than the UK as a whole. Gives Scotland a "level of comfort" in its decision-making, post independence.

     
  114.  
    Alice, Edinburgh

    texts: I welcome the opportunity to vote YES. It's not about cutting the social/ cultural ties. It's about self determination for us as a country!

     
  115.  
    1458:

    FM asked if he has any "feeling of dread" that the referendum might go badly for him. Not phased, he says.

     
  116.  
    Information

    What happens now the document has been signed? Watch this video timeline.

     
  117.  
    James Maxwell

    tweets: Guardian reports that the UK Gov wants to "bomb Salmond with reasonableness". It could have started by agreeing to a multi-option ref.

     
  118.  
    Doug, London

    emails: So Scots living in France might get a vote but not those living in England? I'm a Scot living in London for 25 years and not too bothered that I don't get to vote. It is win/win for Salmond - either he gets full independence and more powers or, as Cameron has hinted, he gets further devolution and more powers.

     
  119.  
    Malcolm Harvey

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay This is an exciting moment for Scotland, sure, but this is just another stage in the process. Long way to go yet.

     
  120.  
  121.  
    Paul C, London

    emails: I am unclear why there has been no discussion about the proposal that an independent country could remain part of the Bank Of England. A decision of this magnitude and precedent deserves a much wider discussion amongst the rest of the UK. I had naively assumed Scotland would migrate to the Euro rather than expecting to remain within the Bank of England currency.

     
  122.  
    1509:

    FM answering question on tensions in the Eurozone. What would the implications be for an independent Scotland using Sterling? A false analogy, he insists, as Scotland is very close to the rest of the UK in economic performance.

     
  123.  
    1512:

    FM says, in response to a question, that it is not his business to tell the people of Catalonia what to do. He's interested, but today is about Scotland's future.

     
  124.  
    Steve, Glasgow

    texts: I'm proud to be English born and bred - but I live in Scotland and will vote yes. This isn't about being anti-English - it's about the people in Scotland deciding what is best for Scotland. I will still be English, I will still be British but Scotland will run its own affairs.

     
  125.  
    Matthew Jones, Barry, South Wales

    texts: What about the future of Wales, there has to be something done to give us a more balanced relationship with England if Scotland becomes independent, and this must happen in signed agreement before the referendum.

     
  126.  
    Paul, Sunderland

    emails: Surely this is the time to nail down these issues once and for all and introduce a federal UK. All the nations would have their own parliament (including, yes, an English parliament) and would deal with running their own nations but Westminster would remain to deal with carefully proscribed, over-riding issues such as defence. It would certainly get rid of the ridiculous arguments over jurisdiction and the "West Lothian" question.

     
  127.  
    Analysis Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    A 13-page document was signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond earlier today. Have a look at my at-a-glance piece pulling out the essential elements in the document.

     
  128.  
    Conall, Stirling

    texts: Scottish independence is no longer about nationalism. It's about the belief that democracy is stronger when power is decentralised.

     
  129.  
    James Sherville, Newark, Notts

    emails: I am a Scot who has served 42 years in a Scottish Regiment My wife is English and after retiring I settled in England. I now find I have no vote in what is the most important decision in Scotland's recent history, but give the vote to 16/17 year olds. Alec Salmond and the SNP have only one agenda and that is not in Scotland's interests. I am against this referendum and only hope that the Scottish people are sensible enough to say a big No to this break up of a union which has worked well in the past.

     
  130.  
    Paul, Harrow

    emails: It's fine for Scotland to have their referendum. But this is a marriage and in any marriage both sides have a say. Therefore, the English must be given their own separate referendum as well. If the English choose not to continue with unification, then Scotland must go it alone, whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum.

     
  131.  
    Information

    Want to know a little more about Scotland's political and constitutional history. The BBC's knowledge and learning team produce a wealth of material that is posted online. Have a look at what it has offer.

     
  132.  
    Robert, Aviemore

    emails: Be interesting to see if Salmond and company come up with figures to show this is going to work. If I want to start a business, I have to present a business plan to banks etc. So far we have had nothing but hype. Stands to reason that pulling together as the UK is more efficient than splitting up. Only reason Salmond and company are there is the poor quality of the opposition.

     
  133.  
    Louis Hudson

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay surprising how Scotland get referendum on Independence yet devolution of power to England isn't on agenda #fairnessfirst

     
  134.  
    Information
    Jackie Bird, Nick Robinson, Brian Taylor Reporting Scotland with Jackie Bird, Nick Robinson, and Brian Taylor

    For more information and analysis on the deal signing, watch BBC One Scotland from 18:30 when Jackie Bird will present an hour-long Reporting Scotland special. There will be interviews with politicians and analysis from the BBC's Nick Robinson and Brian Taylor. In addition, there will be an extended Newsnight Scotland on BBC Two Scotland, starting at 23:00.

     
  135.  
    1545:

    That's it for our Live Page coverage of the Scottish independence referendum deal - signed at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh. This was just one chapter in an ongoing story about Scotland's future. To re-cap on what has happened and to keep across what will happen, bookmark our Special Report on Scotland's Future.

     

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.