The Edinburgh Agreement of October 2012 was a historic moment in the devolution of power in the United Kingdom. The agreement, signed by then-Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, paved the way for a referendum on Scottish independence.
The agreement was the culmination of years of debate and political wrangling over the issue of Scottish independence. The Scottish National Party, led by Salmond, had campaigned for years for a referendum on the issue, arguing that Scotland should be able to decide its own future. The UK government, however, had been hesitant to grant such a referendum, fearing that it could lead to the breakup of the UK.
The Edinburgh Agreement was a compromise between the two sides. It set out the terms for a legally-binding referendum, which would take place on September 18, 2014. The agreement also established the Electoral Commission as the body responsible for overseeing the referendum, ensuring that it was conducted fairly and transparently.
The terms of the referendum were agreed upon by both sides. The question on the ballot paper would be a simple one: „Should Scotland be an independent country?“ The agreement also set out the rules for the campaign, including spending limits and restrictions on political advertising.
The Edinburgh Agreement was a significant moment in the history of Scotland and the UK as a whole. It marked a shift towards greater devolution of power to the Scottish government, as well as a recognition of the right of the Scottish people to decide their own future. The referendum itself was a closely-fought campaign, with the „No“ side ultimately winning by a margin of 55% to 45%.
In the years since the referendum, the debate over Scottish independence has continued. The Scottish National Party has called for another referendum, arguing that Brexit has fundamentally changed the landscape of Scottish politics. The UK government, however, has been resistant to the idea, arguing that the issue was settled in 2014.
Regardless of the outcome of any future referendums, the Edinburgh Agreement of October 2012 will go down in history as a pivotal moment in the relationship between Scotland and the UK. It was a moment when the two sides came together to find a way forward, and to recognise the right of the Scottish people to determine their own fate.