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Moore: Referendum agreement close
The UK and Scottish Governments should reach an agreement over the terms of the independence referendum by late October, according to the Scottish Secretary.
Michael Moore expects to meet the Scottish First Minister in the next few weeks to clear the way for agreement on the vote, which has been the subject of two consultations this year.
The UK Government has said the Scottish Government does not currently have the power to hold a legal referendum and wants to transfer legislative powers to do so using a Section 30 Order.
Westminster published the results of its public consultation on the referendum earlier this year, while the Scottish Government was examining the responses to its own version over the summer.
Mr Moore, who will give a speech to the National Business Convention in Edinburgh, is expected to tell the audience that an October agreement on the Section 30 Order is needed if the Scottish Government is to meet its own target of an autumn 2014 vote.
He will say: "The Prime Minister has made clear his commitment to meet and resolve matters before the end of September.
"I look forward to seeing the First Minister so that we can make Scotland's referendum a reality.
"It's time to crack on. Time is pressing. The sooner we can get the process issues out of the way and get on to the 'great debate' itself, the better for everyone, and the less damaging the uncertainty will be for people and businesses alike.
"But importantly, if the Scottish Government wants to meet its own timetable for the referendum, the powers must be devolved by next spring.
"That means both Governments reaching agreement on a Section 30 Order by late October. That will allow both of Scotland's parliaments to scrutinise and approve the Order, paving the way to a Bill in the spring."