Scottish independence: Referendum agreement at-a-glance

Signed document David Cameron, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore signed the document

A deal setting out terms for a Scottish independence referendum has been signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond.

The terms of the deal have been set out in a 13-page memorandum of agreement between the Scottish and UK governments.

Here is a look at the key points of the document:

  • The Scottish and UK governments agree the referendum should have a clear legal base.
  • It should be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament.
  • It should command the confidence of parliaments, governments and people.
  • It should deliver a fair test and a decisive expression of the views of people in Scotland and a result everyone will respect.
  • The governments have agreed to an "order in council" under Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 to allow a single question referendum on Scottish independence, to be held before the end of 2014.
  • The referendum should "meet the highest standards of fairness, transparency and propriety, informed by consultation and independent expert advice".
  • The legislation - the Referendum Bill - will set out the date, franchise (including voter age), the wording of the question and rules on campaign financing.
  • Role of the Electoral Management Board and subsequent role of the Electoral Commission watchdog will be reflected in the Referendum Bill.
  • The referendum question must be "fair, easy to understand and capable of producing a result that is accepted and commands confidence".
  • The Scottish government will refer the proposed referendum question to the Electoral Commission for review, before delivering a report to Holyrood on the issue.
  • Under the 2000 legislation, the Electoral Commission also has responsibility for registration of campaigners and regulating campaign spending and donations.
  • The poll and count will be managed by local returning officers and directed by a chief counting officer.
  • The Referendum Bill to be introduced by the Scottish government will provide for the spending limits in the "regulated period" for the independence referendum, which has been proposed at the 16 weeks ending on the date of the referendum.
The document in full

Credit: DocumentCloud

More Scotland politics stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

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.