The UK government believes Scotland is stronger in the UK, and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it. However, we recognised that the Scottish government was elected with a mandate to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. This referendum took place on Thursday 18 September 2014 and Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
We ensured that the referendum:
had a clear legal basis
commanded the confidence of parliaments, governments and people
provided a fair test and a decisive expression of the views of people in Scotland
On 15 October 2012, the Prime Minister and First Minister signed an agreement that committed the UK and Scottish governments to pass powers to allow the Scottish Parliament to hold a single question referendum on independence before the end of 2014.
The legislation was approved by the Privy Council allowing the Scottish government to introduce its Referendum Bill into the Scottish Parliament. The bill received Royal Assent on 17 December 2013.
The Scottish government was elected in May 2011 with a pledge to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. The Prime Minister and the Scottish First Minister reached an agreement in October 2012, setting out how the 2 governments would work together to make sure that the referendum was legal, fair and decisive.