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Scottish Independence: David Cameron To Meet Alex Salmond For Talks

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Arrangements will be made in the next few days for David Cameron and Alex Salmond to meet to discuss a referendum on Scottish independence, but only after the SNP leader publishes his consultation on referendum plans.

The first minister has ruled out talks prior to January 25 - which is also the birthday of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns - when he will set out his plans at the Scottish Parliament.

Salmond called for talks with Cameron on Friday, following a week of political wrangling over the referendum. Downing Street said arrangements for the meeting would be made "in the coming days".

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore had asked Mr Salmond for a meeting in Edinburgh this Thursday, however this has been ruled out by the Scottish Government, because it would come before an announcement at Holyrood.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "The prime minister has made it clear he is happy to meet Alex Salmond and arrangements for that will be made in the coming days."

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg will also now be meeting the Scottish First Minister.

A spokesman for Salmond said the meetings would take place "very soon" after the publication of the Scottish Government's consultation.

"We believe it is to everyone's benefit that these meetings are informed by the published consultation documents of both the UK and Scottish governments, so that Moore, Cameron and Clegg can see what our proposals are - and we look forward to the meetings taking place," he said.

The prime minister and Salmond will discuss the UK Government's consultation on the legality of an independence referendum. Cameron has said he wants a referendum "as soon as possible", but Salmond has announced his preferred timing to be autumn 2014.

The UK Government also insists the Scottish Government does not have the power in its constitution to hold a binding referendum.

The meeting comes as an IPPR poll reveals more than half of English people do not believe Scottish MPs should vote on matters that affect only English people.

Guy Lodge, IPPR Associate Director, and co-author of the report, said: "The time has come for a much wider public debate about what form a new constitutional settlement for England should take. Progressive politics needs to lead and not follow this debate.”

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