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UK Government to fast-track Holyrood votes for 16 & 17 year olds

Timetable for legislative power transfer proposed

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The legislative power to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in future Scottish Parliament elections should be transferred from the UK Parliament to Holyrood in March, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael announced today.

The timetable for the Section 30 Order – which will devolve the power from the UK Parliament to Holyrood in March - has been agreed by both the UK and Scottish Government. It will be brought before both Houses of the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday) and then put forward for Privy Council approval in March.

This is the first stage in implementing the Smith Commission’s historic cross party agreement on devolution which will bring more powers and more financial responsibility for the Scottish Parliament.

Delivery of the Section 30 Order was brought forward as an exception from the rest of the Smith package so the power could be devolved in time for 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

The Scottish Secretary also confirmed that the UK Government would publish draft legislation on the Smith Agreement later this week – ahead of the Burns Day deadline announced prior to the independence referendum.

Published 19 January 2015