Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said that with the date set "we can see an end in sight", but Scotland will be "on pause" until the independence referendum is out of the way.
The date means Scotland's independence referendum will be held in between the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Following his announcement that Scotland's independence referendum will be held on Thursday 18th September, 2014, First Minister Alex Salmond wrote:
in 547 days from now - Thursday 18th September 2014 -Scotland will vote "yes" or "no" to independence.
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called today "a very special day" as the date of the independence referendum will finally be revealed.
In a video released by the Scottish government, Ms Sturgeon said, "This is a very special occasion, and I think everybody in Scotland - whether you're a 'yes' voter, a 'no' voter, or if you've yet to make up your mind - will understand how momentous this occasion is."
"It names the date on which everybody in Scotland gets the chance to take our future into our own hands".
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon posted this picture of her signing the independence referendum bill.
She wrote on Twitter, "When I joined @thesnp at 16, I never imagined I'd one day put my signature on an #indyref Bill #specialmoment #yes".
Independence would "provide Scotland with the opportunity to capture and deliver faster sustainable economic growth, with greater opportunities to tackle key challenges in sustainability and inequality over the long-term", according to a report by The Fiscal Commission Working Group.
It described Scotland as a "wealthy country" which is "on a par with many other successful independent countries".
The panel of experts highlighted a number of key strengths in the Scottish economy, including the energy sector, life sciences, food and drink and tourism.
But it said the country faced a number of challenges "not least tackling the long-term growth gap between Scotland and other comparable countries".
– The Fiscal Commission Working Group report
It is clear that over the long-term, Scotland has not completely fulfilled its economic potential.
The government is making its case against Scottish Independence today.
David Cameron is releasing the first in a series of reports, highlighting how the UK and Scotland benefit from the union.
Speaking in an ITV Daybreak interview Stuart Maxwell from the Scottish National Party said the UK Government's report today showed a "breathtaking arrogance" over their "supposed" recognition of Scotland as an equal partner.
Advice on what will happen to Scotland if it became independent from the UK will be published today.
A summary of the report, issued from Downing Street ahead of the publication, revealed that it was an "unusual step" for the Government to publish full legal opinion from experts.
– Government issued summary of the report on Scottish independence
If Scotland became independent, only the remainder of the UK would automatically continue to exercise the same rights, obligations and powers under international law as the UK currently does, and would not have to re-negotiate existing treaties or re-apply for membership of international organisations.
According to Professors James Crawford and Alan Boyle, who set out their opinions in the paper, Scotland would be treated as a new country, having to renegotiate its relationship with world bodies.
The Scottish Government issued a paper last week, which assuming a Yes vote occurred in autumn 2014, could see negotiations between Scottish ministers and the UK Government, EU and international organisations concluded by March 2016.
Today's publication does not include specific advice from the European Commission on the implications of Scottish independence in the EU.