Foreign policy considerations for the UK and Scotland in the event of Scotland becoming an independent country - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Annex: Timeline of key referendum dates

(Source: BBC News Online)


May    SNP form minority government

Aug  Launch of Scotland's National Conversation, which discusses Scotland's constitutional future.


Jun  Findings of the Calman Commission (reviewing 10 years of devolution) are published. ~


Feb  SNP government publishes draft Referendum Bill on proposed independence referendum~. It says voters will have the option of voting for either new powers for the Scottish Parliament or full independence from the UK.


May   SNP win majority government at Holyrood.

Oct   SNP officially launches its drive for independence.

Nov  Liberal Democrats set up Home Rule Commission.


Jan   First Minister Alex Salmond announces intention to hold a referendum for autumn 2014.

SNP sets out its proposed referendum question wording in a White Paper.

Feb   Talks between First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore continue over mechanics of referendum.

May   UK government publishes consultation responses to ~its independence referendum consultation. Ministers say that the responses show strong levels of support for a single, clear question on independence.

~The Yes Scotland campaign for independence is launched with the aim of encouraging one million Scots to sign a declaration of support by the time of the referendum in the autumn of 2014.

Jun   ~The Better Together campaign to keep the Union is launched with former Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Oct  Referendum deal (The Edinburgh Agreement) is signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond which paves the way for a vote in autumn 2014.

The government in Scotland publishes analysis of more than 26,000 responses to its public consultation on the planned referendum on Scottish independence.

Nov  The Scottish Government confirms the wording of the question it plans to put to the people of Scotland in the independence referendum: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"


Jan   The House of Lords unanimously approves the legal transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament to allow it to hold the independence referendum.

The Scottish government agrees to change the wording of the referendum question to ask the yes/no question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The government also agrees to make changes to campaign spending limits.

Feb  The UK government publishes the first in a series of papers, which cites legal opinion stating an independent Scotland would be seen as a separate state under international law.

Mar  The Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill is proposed to the Scottish Parliament. It would allow 16 and 17-year-olds vote in the referendum.

It is announced that the Scottish independence referendum will take place on 18 September 2014.

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