Last year, I made a promise that if I was elected to Holyrood and the Scottish National Party did not put through the referendum bill in short order after the forthcoming elections, I would seek to work with the members bills unit to submit a members bill to the Scottish Parliament. Below is the first draft of such a bill (based loosely around the current SNP bill). The difference here is:
- It sets a specific date of 5th May 2022 (the same date as the Scottish Council Elections). This removes any excuses on extra risk because the vote would be conducted on the same date as an election which is already happening.
- The Scottish Ministers (Scottish Government) do not get a free hand to modify anything they please (such as changing the date) – such modifications require a vote of the parliament to enact them.
- The “excuse” provisions for changing the date have been removed entirely, except that it must align with the council election date.
- Other provisions remain the same.