Local MSP welcomes referendum agreement

Commenting after today’s signing of the agreement between the Scottish and Westminster Governments which paves the way for an independence referendum in 2014, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan said: “Today was a very significant milestone towards Scotland achieving the normal independent status of other nations.

“The fact that the Scottish and UK Governments have reached a detailed agreement on how to allow the people of Scotland their say is of immense importance.

“I am very conscious that we would not be at this stage without the contribution of pioneers in the independence cause, such as the Western Isles’ own late Donald Stewart MP, who were dedicated to giving people the very choice over independence that was accepted by all sides today. People of Donnie’s generation of activists would have found it difficult to foresee an agreement like today’s taking place, but they would have been delighted to see it.

He added: “Now the debate moves on, both in the islands and throughout Scotland, to the substance of the issue. What future do we want for Scotland - one where our budget, our welfare system and our taxes are in our own hands, or one where the UK Government continues to short-change Scotland?

“The recent successful launch of the Western Isles’ own Yes campaign is a very encouraging sign that people in the islands will say Yes to a better future for Scotland.”