THE Scottish Government has published the long-awaited Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, with the aim of holding a consultative vote on October 19, 2023.

The First Minister said her government would be referring the provisions of its referendum Bill to the Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted an “indisputably lawful” referendum to take place, arguing that her opponents would challenge the Scottish Government’s proposal in the courts if she did not go to the judiciary herself.

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If the court rules that holding the consultative ballot is outside of Holyrood’s powers, Sturgeon has pledged to use the next General Election as a de-facto independence referendum.

As the First Minister spoke in Holyrood, the referendum bill was published – setting out The purpose how “to make provision for ascertaining the views of the people of Scotland on whether Scotland should be an independent country”.

The National:

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The proposed question used on the ballot paper will be the same as in 2024 – Should Scotland be an independent country?

Ministers have also written in a provision meaning “a later date” than October 19, 2023, could be appointed if necessary.

You can read the full text of the bill here.

Earlier, the First Minister concluded her speech by saying: “With hard work and the independence to chart our own course, Scotland will prosper, and the people of Scotland have told us, all of us in this Chamber, that they want the right to decide.”