11 Jan 2012

Shettleston Member of the Scottish Parliament, John Mason, has today commented on the news from the Scottish Government last night that an independence referendum will be held in Autumn 2014.

John Mason MSP, who represents the East End of Glasgow in Holyrood, commented:

“These are exciting times with the Scottish Government having just confirmed that Scotland’s independence referendum is to be held in the autumn of 2014. People across the East End will now have the exciting opportunity to join the rest of Scotland in voting in a referendum on Scotland’s future.

“This will be the most important social and political decision on how Scotland is governed for centuries and it is vital that this decision is taken by the people of Scotland.

“In recent days, Labour and the Lib-Dems have been falling over each other to agree with David Cameron’s insistence on trying to interfere in a referendum that is clearly up to Scotland to run. It is clear that Unionist politicians have nothing positive to add to this debate.

“However the Scottish Government is sticking to its election promise to hold the referendum in the second half of this parliament to allow time for an educated debate on independence to be held. That is only right and proper. And I myself am happy to take part in any local debates that community councils, churches, or other groups would like to organise.

“It is also right that 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the referendum. The SNP has long believed that people who are entitled by law to work full time, get married and pay taxes should have a say in how their country is run and in the future of that country. Our young people are our future, they have a right to express their view at the ballot box.

“Above all, this is a matter for Scotland. The people of Scotland gave the SNP a mandate to run this referendum. The Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour would do well to come to terms with that fact and respect the people’s decision.”