Deal announced on Scottish referendum

The deal between the UK and Scottish governments on the referendum is done and will be sealed on Monday.  The Scotland Office and the SNP government seem to have jumped the gun on Downing St by announcing  agreement on a single “yes, no question,” but with votes for 16 year olds added, if the Scottish Parliament approves. That detail might be thought to favour the “yes” camp if you believe kids favour change pretty automatically.

There’ll be lots of detail to fight over, like the precise wording of the question funding and how to deal with the underlying  question of more devolution – or not .  If funding is judged by votes per party the SNP gets more than any others, but if it goes by campaign, the pro- Union parties  combined win out. That would increase the challenge to the Better Together campaign to present a unified front and that may not be easy. The latest poll suggests a dip in independence support, but there’s a long way to go to October 2014.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London