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Indyref2 question could be changed in future referendum, says watchdog

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The UK’s election watchdog has said it could change the wording of a second Scottish independence referendum question.

In response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a draft Referendum Bill, the Electoral Commission said it should be asked to review the phrasing on any ballot paper even if it is the same as 2014.

The Scottish Government currently proposes using the same question with the same responses, Yes or No.

A Yes or No response for June’s EU referendum was rejected by the Commission in September 2015. The UK Government originally proposed the question: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?

That was changed to the commission’s recommendation of voters answering Leave or Remain to: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

The review also said any re-run of the 2014 vote should take place at least six months after legislation is passed by MSPs.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a second referendum is “highly likely” following the UK as a whole voting to leave the European Union but Scotland voting to stay in the organisation.

John McCormick, the electoral commissioner for Scotland, said: “Based on our experience of the recent EU referendum we have highlighted some further improvements that could be made to strengthen the regulation and administration of any future poll in Scotland.”

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