SCOTTISH ministers need to “come to an agreement” with the Electoral Commission over the question for indyref2, a committee of MSPs has claimed.

Ministers, currently trying to get their framework referendum legislation through the Parliament, have clashed with the elections watchdog over what should be asked in any future independence vote.

The Scottish Government say the Yes/No question of 2014 works and should remain, but the Commission says they should be allowed to test it first – even if they’ve already tested it before.

In 2016, they rejected a Yes/No question for the EU referendum, instead giving voters an option to Leave or Remain.

Some Unionist campaigners have said this should be adopted for indyref2.

Examining the Government’s Referendums (Scotland) Bill, Holyrood’s constitution committee urged ministers to work with the Electoral Commission before the legislation reaches the second stage of parliamentary consideration.

In its final report, the committee said the Government needs to recognise “the weight of evidence in favour of the Electoral Commission testing a previously used referendum question”.

The committee also said the Bill should be changed so that any new referendum on a constitutional issue requires primary legislation.

However, MSPs rejected a push to make the winning side of any referendum require a two-thirds threshold.

The SNP’s Bruce Crawford, who chairs the committee said they supported the policy objective of the legislation “on the basis that the Bill is amended to reflect the weight of evidence we received and have set out in our report”.

Crawford added: “We welcome the approach taken by the Cabinet Secretary [Michael Russell] in his oral evidence to our committee where he indicated that he is ’open to alternative approaches to all aspects of the Bill’ and how it can be improved.

“Our recommendations are intentionally framed to inform an open discussion on how the Bill can be improved based on the substantial evidence received.”

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “It’s clear that we need to be ready for future referendums – including one on independence, as a majority of MSPs agree, in the light of the destructive chaos of Brexit.

“But we also need to learn from the experiences of 2014 and 2016 so we can improve the law on how referendums work.

“For example, the cheating, data scandals and dark money deployed by the Leave campaign represent profound threats to our democracy, and we must update the law to prevent such attempts to undermine any referendum in Scotland in the future. There are clearly changes which are needed to this Bill before it’s ready to be passed.”

SNP MSP Tom Arthur, who sits on the committee, said: “Introducing a framework to set out the way that future referendums will be run provides clarity about what the process will be for voters, campaigners, and administrators – to ensure that any referendum can proceed in a transparent and democratic matter.”

The Tory MSP Adam Tomkins said the committee’s report had stopped Nicola Sturgeon “in her tracks”.

He said:“The nationalists want powers to set up referendums by order; but MSPs have said no.

“MSPs have been equally damning of Sturgeon’s arrogant efforts to by-pass the Electoral Commission.

“Nicola Sturgeon has been stopped in her tracks.”

LibDem MSP Mike Rumbles agreed.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon wants to rush this bill through and cut the electoral commission out of the loop because she is afraid of independent scrutiny.”