Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013

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Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013
Act of the Scottish Parliament
Long titleAn Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision, in accordance with paragraph 5A of Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, for the holding of a referendum in Scotland on a question about the independence of Scotland.
Citation2013 asp 14
Introduced byNicola Sturgeon
Royal assent17 December 2013
Status: Spent
Text of statute as originally enacted
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The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament, which was passed on 14 November 2013 and came into force on 18 December.[1] Together with the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act 2013, it enabled the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. This followed an agreement between the Scottish and the United Kingdom governments to make an exception to the Scottish devolution scheme, which ordinarily reserves constitutional matters to Westminster.

The bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 21 March 2013 by Nicola Sturgeon MSP,[2] with backing from the Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee.[3] The Scottish National Party, as the ruling party in Scotland and led by the then First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, ensured that the bill was passed.[4]

The pair of acts provided that there would be a vote in Scotland on whether Scotland would become independent from the rest of the United Kingdom.[5] There would be a simple yes or no question: "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"[5] The vote would take place on 18 September 2014.[4] With some exceptions, all European Union (EU) or Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland and aged 16 or over could vote, a total of almost 4.3 million people. People of Scottish descent living outside Scotland would not be able to vote.[4]


  1. ^ "Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013". The National Archives. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Scottish Independence Referendum Bill". Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  3. ^ "Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  4. ^ a b c "Q&A: Scottish independence referendum - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  5. ^ a b "Guide to the referendum process - News stories - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2015-10-13.