Alex Salmond announces referendum plans

Scotland's First Minister has announced plans to introduce the independence referendum bill within the next year

Scottish Labour Leader reacts to Salmond speech

"This is a programme with few surprises and nothing in it to address the problems families across Scotland are facing. It is radical only in his ambition to change his title from First Minister to Prime Minister.

He says he can't change Scotland because he doesn't have enough power so he doesn't use the power he has to change Scotland for the better."

– Johann Lamont MSP, Scottish Labour Leader

Ruth Davidson MSP reacts to First Minister

"The First Minister dresses this up as a legislative programme about the economy, but it is dominated by one thing only - the Scottish Government's obsession with tearing apart the United Kingdom. His national conversation has turned out to be little more than a national monologue.

Anyone with a view other than the one he already holds is unwelcome to take part. "

– Ruth Davidson MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives

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Alex Salmond to meet David Cameron

Scotland's First Minister is expected to meet with the Prime Minister in the next few weeks to conclude the discussions about the terms of a vote.

He said independence would give Scotland the powers needed to promote jobs and growth.

He told MSPs, "I believe an independent Scotland is a fairer as well as weathier one."

A controversial bill on same - sex marriage will also be brought forward. It will be subject to a free 'conscience' vote in the parliament.

"No faith group will be required to take part in a same- sex ceremony unless they wish to do so. This is the apppropriate thing to do to respect religious and private beliefs, while ensuring equality."

– Alex Salmond, First Minister