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Clarity needed on SNP's plan for monarchy

February 12, 2012 1:37 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has written to the First Minister to ask him to clarify the SNP's position over the role of the monarchy in an independent Scotland.

Willie Rennie MSPWillie Rennie MSPAs the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee and as the debate over Scottish independence intensifies, Mr Rennie is looking for the First Minister to clarify if he will hold a referendum on the future role of the Monarch given that the SNP agreed in 1997 that "within the term of office of the first independent parliament of Scotland a referendum will be held on the question of whether or not to retain the Monarch as head of state for Scotland."

The SNP has not held a vote on holding an "in/out" referendum on the monarchy since 1997. Mr Rennie believes, that in the interest of a full and frank debate on Scottish independence, the SNP policy position should be clarified as we move towards the most important constitutional decision that Scots will ever face.

Commenting Mr Rennie said:

"The debate over Scotland's future has intensified in recent weeks after both the UK and Scottish Governments launched their consultations.

"Many questions on Scotland's constitutional future have been laid at the SNP's door, which we so far have received very little detail on.

"One of these questions relates to the future of the Monarchy in Scotland.

"As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee it is appropriate to ask the SNP what role the Monarchy will have should Scotland separate from the UK.

"Alex Salmond has said that the Monarch would continue to reign in Scotland but this goes directly against his own party policy set in 1997.

"He said that he would respect the wishes of his party on this matter and no vote has been held by the SNP on this issue since then.

"It is time for Alex Salmond to clarify exactly what the party policy is. Will they hold a referendum on the issue as was decided by the party in 1997 or will defy his party's wishes?

"The First Minister should now come clean and tell us what his party's policy is."