On this page you can find out about the Scottish independence referendum.
Our report on the Scottish independence referendum
Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013
The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 provided for a referendum on Scottish independence to take place and set out the detailed rules for the conduct of the referendum.
Memorandum of understanding with the Chief Counting Officer
We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chief Counting Officer (CCO) for the referendum.
The memorandum outlined how we and the CCO dealt with areas where our responsibilities met to ensure that the referendum was run efficiently, effectively and in the best interests of the voters and campaigners.
Our advice on the referendum question and spending limits
On 30 January 2013, we published our views on the Scottish Government's proposed independence referendum question. We also set out our advice on what campaign spending limits at the referendum should be.
Our advice on the proposed referendum question
We recommended that the referendum question be amended to "Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No"
The question we were asked to assess was: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"
You can read our full report and find out more below:
- Full report of our views on the referendum question (PDF)
- Report on our research with voters which informed our views on the question (PDF)
- Read our guidelines for assessing referendum questions (PDF)
- Our approach to referendum questions (PDF)
Our advice on campaign spending limits for the referendum
We set our detailed advice to the Scottish Government on the spending limits for campaigners at the referendum. You can read our full report below:
You can view minutes from discussions about the independence referendum at Board meetings held on 16 and 24 January 2013. Various Board papers that were prepared for discussion at those meetings are also available.
Our views on the referendum on independence for Scotland
Below you can find briefings we have issued since the UK Government's announcement on the Scottish independence referendum in January 2012. These include our views on legislation and responses to consultations.
Below you can find briefings outlining our views on amendments at different stages throughout the progress of the Referendum Bill.
Our response to Scottish Government proposals for a Referendum Franchise (Scotland) Bill - January 2013
On 7 December 2012 the Scottish Government invited us to give comments on their policy proposal and initial draft bill for extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds at the referendum.
Note to Scottish Affairs Committee - July 2012
The Scottish Affairs Committee invited our views on the issues that campaigners would need to consider if they wish to set up voluntary arrangements for disclosing information about funding and/or spending before the start of the referendum period.
Response to Scottish and UK Government’s consultations on the Scottish referendum - March 2012
We published a single response to the consultation papers on a Scottish referendum from the UK Government (Scotland’s constitutional future) and the Scottish Government (Your Scotland, Your Referendum).