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Referendum cannot be allowed to slip into legal limbo

January 12, 2012 11:34 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Commenting after speaking in a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Scotland's constitutional future, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said:

Willie Rennie MSPWillie Rennie MSP"It is right that concerns about the legal process of the referendum process are raised. It is a problem that the SNP have known about and disregarded for too long.

"The SNP has described the legality issue as a smokescreen. But we don't have to look too far back into history to see that elections can descend into chaos if the legal issue is not taken seriously.

"Only a decade ago the 'hanging chads' of Florida dominated the outcome of the presidential election of 2000.

"Thousands of lawyers flew to Florida, argued for 36 days and launched 47 law suits before a winner of the election could be declared. The United States was paralysed.

"The referendum to decide Scotland's future direction is far too important to let it slip into legal limbo. We cannot plunge Scotland into a pit of humiliation just like that suffered by the United States.

"No one wants to see the referendum decided by the courts, not by the people. That's why it is so important for the two governments and parliaments to work together to sort it out"