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ref date:14 May 1997 (SI)
Devolution Simple majority will decide self-rule question

Referendums bill published today allows Scots to vote for a devolved parliamnet in Edinburgh and an assembly in Wales. Questions in the bill to decide on tax varying powers for Scottish parliament. Voters are those alreday registered and a simple majority will carry a yes or no vote unlike the last referendum on Scottish devolution in 1979 which failed because it did not meet the required threshold of 40 per cent of those entitled to vote.

Ministers plan 2nd reading in the house of commons next week to get ready for vote in the Autumn. The Lords are not to be allowed to obstruct this constitutioanl vote.

The bill also appoints achief counting officer to verify voters, setup polling areas and also lets the Secretary of State to undertake preliminary work on the parliament and assembly.

Scotland Bill:
Subject to the referendum outcome, a distinct Scoland Bill is to allow a shake up in the rule of Scotland after 290 years and the Act of Union . Legislative details detailed in a White Paper to be published within a few weeks. In theory , allowing time for pre-referendum debate.

The Bill also provides for a Scottish Executive to replace powers held by the Scottish Office.