The Staggers 10 January 2012 The SNP names its date Scottish government announces intention to hold an independence referendum in autuman 2014. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up In a bid to seize the initiative back from the UK government, the SNP has just announced autumn 2014 - a few weeks after the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn - as its preferred date for a referendum on Scottish independence. Nicola Sturgeon, the party's deputy leader, broke the news a few minutes ago on Twitter. This would be an advisory referendum (the Scottish government does not have the legal right to hold a binding referendum) designed to provide the SNP with a clear mandate to negotiate for independence. But in his statement to the Commons earlier this afternoon, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, denied that Alex Salmond's administration even had the right to hold this. Westminster insists that it must determine both the timing and the wording of any vote. The course is set for a dramatic constitutional collision. › Labour must not be defined by opposition to the cuts George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!