In regards to maintaining the British monarchy in Scotland, SNP leader, Alex Salmond has said the monarchy would be retained. However, comments by one of the SNP’s senior ministers seriously undermine Salmond’s claim that the Queen and her successors would automatically remain head of state following separation from England.
Christine Grahame, the convener of the SNP’s justice committee, said the party has pledged to hold a public vote on a separate Scotland having a “full-blown monarchy, an edited version or go for a republic. As a Scot, she said, she favoured the later.
In related news, The Telegraph newspaper reported that Scotland’s 4 million voters will be given a new, shorter question on independence in next year’s referendum after Salmond’s government accepted criticisms from the Electoral Commission.
His deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, said the government was “delighted” with the commission’s revised question: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No,” and was also happy to accept the proposed spending limits for next year’s campaign.
John McCormick, the electoral commissioner, said Salmond’s favoured question had been rigorously tested, adding: “Any referendum question must be, and be seen to be, neutral. People told us that they felt the words ‘do you agree’ could lead voters towards voting ‘yes’.
The commission endorsed widespread criticisms from polling experts and opposition parties of Salmond’s original question, “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” That was not neutral enough, it ruled. The wording was potentially biased because voters were less likely to reject an invitation to agree to a proposition, it added.
The commission’s rulings were widely welcomed, and immediately backed by the Scottish Greens, who support independence, while Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Tories, which all oppose it, said they agreed on both the new question and the spending limits. The UK government and the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign also backed the recommendations.