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Referendums (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2019.

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Photo of Mike Rumbles Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrat

Will the cabinet secretary give me a minute to make some progress?

I will give way to him in a moment.

I have to thank the First Minister for being so unusually clear about what she wants to do. If they examine the detail of the bill, the people of Scotland can also be in no doubt that the SNP Administration will use any device to maximise its support by any means, fair or foul. I refer to section 3(7), which clearly states that the Electoral Commission need not bother to examine the veracity of the proposed referendum question if it has previously done so. The message from the Scottish Government is clear: “We don’t want the Electoral Commission to interfere with our question—it gives us a fine advantage as it is, thank you very much.” I remind members that I said “by any means, fair or foul”.

On that note, I give way to the cabinet secretary.