As-it-happened: Referendum date statement

Key points

  • First Minister Alex Salmond says the Scottish independence referendum will take place on Thursday, 18 September 2014.
  • The Independence Referendum Bill will see voters asked the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
  • A bill aimed at extending the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds came before the Scottish Parliament last week.

Live text

Reporting:

  • Doug Kennedy 
  • Stuart Nicolson 
  • Deirdre Kelly 

Last updated 21 March 2013

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On Thursday, 18 September - 2014 - the referendum will take place.

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Hello and welcome to our live text and video coverage of the announcement of the date for the Scottish independence referendum. First Minister Alex Salmond is due on his feet at the Scottish Parliament at 14:00.

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Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick introduces Alex Salmond to address the chamber.

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Mr Salmond says the legislation is the most important to be introduced at Holyrood. The referendum bill was brought about by consensus, despite disagreement over the debate itself, Mr Salmond says.

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The Bill makes clear that the Electoral Commission will have overall responsibility to oversee the referendum, Mr Salmond tells the chamber. That includes campaign spending for the referendum.

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The level of debate must meet the expectations of the Scottish people, adds Mr Salmond.

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The first minister goes on to list the legislative achievements of the Scottish Parliament.

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In a hushed chamber, the SNP leader puts the case for independence. He asks a series of questions including, why should Scotland have no control over whether nuclear weapons are on Scottish soil?

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Mr Salmond says the country needs the powers of independence, he adds that the current system isn't working for Scotland.

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Alex Salmond

"We will be able to stand on our own two feet, but we will not stand alone, we will have a partnership of equals," says Mr Salmond.