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The Secretary of State says he is confident talks with the First Minister in Edinburgh this Friday can "plot the course towards agreeing a legal referendum that follows the normal and fair rules that the Scottish people associate with a referendum".
The publication of the Scottish Government’s referendum plans should clear the way for serious talks in Scotland about building a legal, fair and decisive referendum, said the Scottish Secretary Michael Moore.
The Minister said he is confident that talks with the First Minister in Edinburgh this Friday can “plot the course towards agreeing a legal referendum that follows the normal and fair rules that the Scottish people associate with a referendum”.
Speaking on the eve on the Scottish Government’s consultation, Michael Moore said:
“Two weeks ago, our Government published plans on how to create a legal, fair and decisive referendum on Scottish independence. Once the Scottish Government publish their plans the way should be clear for us to have serious discussions, right here in Scotland, about how we make such a referendum happen.
“I want the Scottish Government paper to have a clear acknowledgement that a legal referendum is in the interests of the Scottish people and that the two Governments should work together to achieve that. I also hope they will confirm that they support a simple yes-no question on independence. That is what people expect. I also hope that if the Scottish Government continue to put forward their preference of Autumn 2014 for a referendum that they will justify why they want three more years of delay and economic uncertainty.
“Everyone wants to have a referendum that avoids a courtroom wrangle. Everyone in Scotland expects to have a referendum that follows the normal and fair rules we associate with a referendum. We should not start re-writing the rule book in the run up to the most important decision Scotland will ever make.
“The Scottish Government have shed more light on their referendum plans in the past two weeks then they did in the previous two years. We have seen real progress and there appears to be areas where we are very much in agreement. I believe the talks on Friday can help plot the course towards an agreeing a legal referendum that follows the normal rules and fair rules that the Scottish people associate with a referendum.”