Referendum must empower Scots from 16yrs up


For immediate release 10 January 2012

Responding to today's announcement by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Scottish Greens have called for the transfer of new powers to come without strings attached and for the urgent opening up of the debate to what kind of independent Scotland the voters are being offered.

Scottish Greens support votes for 16 and 17 year olds and will campaign for their voice to be heard in the referendum.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"It’s essential that the transfer of new powers to put the referendum on a stronger legal footing must be without strings - it must be genuinely empowering. Anything else will be seen by every Scottish voter as a piece of mischief and nothing more. Denying 16 and 17 year olds a vote on the future of their country is a shameful position that must be reversed right away.

"Both sides are so far obsessed with posturing and process. Both need to move on to a debate about the kind of society Scotland could become. The real issues are about how independence – or any other option – could deliver a more equal society, a more sustainable economy, and a decent future for our communities.

"Greens take the view that independence could offer a radically better future for Scotland, but it’s vital that the campaign engages people with those issues, instead of only offering opportunities for politicians to strut and posture at one another."