SCOTLAND – INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM – 10 January 2012

[Mr Speaker: Seeking now single supplementary questions of stunning succinctness, my eyes look no further than Dr Julian Lewis.]

Dr Julian Lewis: I knew that would be the case. Does the Secretary of State believe that there is any danger of the SNP boycotting a legitimate referendum, and if so, what would be the outcome if the vote were in favour of remaining in the United Kingdom?

[The Secretary of State for Scotland (Michael Moore): The hon. Gentleman invites me to consider a hypothetical question, which I do not believe will be the reality. I think it is important – and I believe it would be very strange if the Scottish Government did not – that they engage in the process of discussing this and that they consider the aspects that we are putting forward in the consultation today about providing a legal basis for a referendum and having a fair process and a decisive outcome. I think that that is important, and it would seem very strange if the Scottish Government were to turn round and say they did not want to be part of that process.]