The UK Government has today published all of the responses to its referendum consultation.
The responses are available online: http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/17087.html
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said:
“The publication of the consultation responses clearly demonstrates the quality of the argument from all quarters of Scotland for a referendum which is legal, fair and decisive.
“Since launching our consultation in January we have made a good deal of progress with the Scottish Government. We both agree that a Section 30 Order should be used to enable Holyrood to legislate for an independence referendum. We both agree that the Electoral Commission must have a role to play in reviewing the question.
“Both Governments can take satisfaction from the quality of the arguments supporting our shared preference for a single question. A range of business leaders, academics and members of the public make a very persuasive case for asking one clear question. There is much in the quality of the arguments being made that both I and the First Minister can take heart from.
“There is also strong support behind the case for holding the referendum sooner than the Scottish Government’s proposed date of Autumn 2014. I have indicated that the timing of the referendum should not be a barrier to us agreeing the referendum process and moving on to the real debate. I hope the First Minister will agree that we should get on with sorting this.”
The consultation closed on March 9th and received nearly 3000 responses from business, academics, politicians, organisations and individuals. The responses showed strong levels of support for:
- The two Governments agreeing a section 30 to provide the Scottish Parliament with the power to hold a legal, fair and decisive referendum;
- having a single, clear question on independence;
- having the referendum sooner rather than later;
- having the question reviewed by the Electoral Commission;
- using the Scottish Parliament franchise.
All the responses to the consultation have been published except where the individual or organisation has asked that their response be treated as confidential.
All responses to the consultation were received by email or by post, as a result all responses could be identified by a single unique identifier: an email or postal address. Only one response per individual was recorded to avoid duplication.