Responding the Secretary of State for Scotland’s publication of a Command Paper on the proposals for further devolution in Scotland which were committed to do during the referendum campaign, Hugh Robertson asks if a simple majority of 50% plus one in the Scottish Independence Referendum is still deemed sufficient for a matter with such far-reaching constitutional implications.
Sir Hugh Robertson (Faversham and Mid Kent) (Con): The Secretary of State is to be commended for introducing the Command Paper in such a timely fashion. Has any thought been given to the lessons learned from this campaign, particularly whether a simple majority of 50% plus one is sufficient for a matter of such far-reaching constitutional implications?
Mr Carmichael: I have thought of little else in the past few weeks. I know that when referendum processes are undertaken in other parts of the world a debate often takes places on the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman. My view continues to be that 50% plus one should be the threshold for any referendum in a democracy.