The Scottish independence referendum will be held on September 18 2014, First Minister Alex Salmond said today.
The Scottish National Party leader announced the date to Holyrood as the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill was published.
"Next year the choice facing the people is one of two futures.
"A No vote means a future of governments we didn't vote for, imposing cuts and policies we didn't support.
"A Yes vote means a future where we can be absolutely certain, 100 per cent certain, that the people of Scotland will get the government they vote for," Mr Salmond said.
But Scottish Labour leader Johan Lamont said: "The truth is, Alex Salmond knows if he held the referendum now, he wouldn't just lose it, he would be routed.
"All the self-aggrandisement of today isn't just a sign of the first minister's usual pomposity.
"Making an occasion out of a delayed announcement is an attempt to con the people into believing that we have moved a step towards independence when we haven't."
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