Scottish Independence - Could Ex-Pats Living In England Get A Vote?

Scotland Referendum Scots Living In England Vote

First Posted: 18/01/2012 06:57 Updated: 18/01/2012 07:41   PA

Demands to give Scots living outside Scotland a vote in the independence referendum will be debated by MSPs on Wednesday.

Scottish Labour MSP Elaine Murray will lead a members debate calling on the Scottish Parliament to back the view that Scots living outside Scotland should be able to register to vote in the independence referendum on the same basis as expatriate UK citizens can vote in UK elections.

Under the Scottish Government's current referendum proposals, Scots working elsewhere will not be eligible to vote on Scotland's constitutional future.

However, anyone eligible to be on the electoral register in Scotland will be entitled to vote.

The Dumfriesshire MSP has also congratulated James Wallace, a Dumfries man who will be excluded from the vote when he moves to London for work next month, for his online campaign Let Wallace Vote to bring the issue to public attention.

Speaking ahead of her members debate, Ms Murray said: "Scots working outwith Scotland at the time of UK general elections are allowed to vote, so why should they be banned from voting in one of the most important decisions in Scotland in over 300 years?

"It seems massively unfair. The fact is, with youth unemployment in Scotland rising, more young Scots are being forced to look outwith Scotland for jobs.

"It seems hugely unfair that they should be stopped from having a say in Scotland's future.

"I hope MSPs from all parties come together to support the Let Wallace Vote campaign."

Members' Business is a debate on a motion proposed by an MSP who is not a cabinet secretary or minister.

The topic discussed generally relates to a particular region, marks a specific event or highlights an issue of interest to the MSP that might not otherwise receive attention. It concludes without any vote being taken.

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