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Referendum date to be revealed

The precise date of Scotland's independence referendum will be revealed today.

First Minister, Alex Salmond, will make the announcement by delivering a statement to MSPs at Holyrood this afternoon.

This morning, the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will visit apprentices in Renfrew who will begin to laser the chosen date out of steel.

The question voters will be asked has already been settled: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Last week, the Scottish government formally lodged proposals to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum.

The ballot is due to take place in Autumn 2014.


Nicola Sturgeon will outline vision for an independent Scotland

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Credit: PA

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will claim Scotland will be able to build a 'better nation through independence'.

She will speak to business and community leaders at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and will address the independence referendum ahead of the vote in 2014.

Nicola Sturgeon is leading the Scottish Governments independence drive. She will set out the core arguments for independence, highlighting the two choices facing the people of Scotland. The SNP administration is describing it as a 'significant speech'.

She said "My conviction that Scotland should be independent stems from the principles, not of identity or nationality, but democracy and social justice. I believe that Scotland has a democratic right to choose our own Government and determine our own future."

The speech starts at 1.45pm.

Moore in Independence talks with Sturgeon

Borders MP Michael Moore meets with Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today to discuss the terms of an independence vote.

It's hoped this will pave the way for a summit between Alex Salmond and David Cameron.

The two governments have been at odds since the start of the year.

The UK Government has offered to devolve specific powers to make a Yes/No poll legal.

But the Scottish Government has refused to accept their terms, saying it wants a multi-option referendum with a question on 'devo max'.

"I believe it is essential to sort out the referendum process so that we can move on to the real debate about Scotland’s future. I hope Nicola Sturgeon’s appointment and the mood music coming from the Scottish Government are a sign that we can make real progress in these referendum talks. I believe we can reach an agreement on an independence referendum that will be legal, fair and decisive."

– Michael Moore, Scottish Secretary and Borders MP

"I'm glad that Michael Moore has accepted my invitation to meet this week, following the productive talks I had last Thursday with David Mundell. I'm looking forward to another positive discussion, which will help pave the way for a meeting between the First Minister and Prime Minister to conclude the referendum negotiations.We can then move on to debating the issues and persuading people to vote Yes to an independent Scotland."

– Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister


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

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
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