The details of the agreement between Governments are set out in the following memorandum and draft regulations, which are part of this Agreement. What is the legal status of the agreement as a “concordat”? Well, notoriously unclear. The guidelines published in 1998 and again in 2005 state that the concordat does not serve to create legal obligations or restrictions, but serve as basic rules for administrative cooperation and the exchange of information. The provisions of concord are often considered “non-binding” as declarations of intent, “just honourably” and are not intended to create contractual agreements (see Condordats and Devolution Guidance Notes, House of Commons Library, SN/PC/3767, 7 October 2005). Nevertheless, commentators speak of these concordats in terms of twilight law, as an area of “constitutional paralist”, agreements between governments that almost serve as a form of “quasi-contractual” or “soft law” for civil servants, because they raise expectations and guide behavior. The Edinburgh Agreement, signed in October 2012, was the result of lengthy discussions between the Scottish and British governments on how and when to the referendum. It was agreed that the vote would take place in 2014 and that it would be managed by the Scottish Government in accordance with a special provision of the Scotland Act adopted in special time by Westminster. This allows the Scottish Government to ask the question using the advice of the UK Electoral Commission. Moreover, it must be a single question of independence.
The SNP must therefore advocate for independence without a version of Devo Plus as a “backup”. The SNP, however, extended the franchise to 16-17 year olds. Governments have agreed to promote a regulation in the Council, in line with section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998, to hold a referendum on Scottish independence before the end of 2014 with a single question, to make it clear that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for the referendum.  The legislation the Scottish Parliament wished to work on was; The Edinburgh Agreement includes a major agreement signed by David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland, on behalf of the British Government, Alex Salmond, Prime Minister, and Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy Prime Minister, on behalf of the Scottish Government. This main agreement outlines the principles to which both governments are committed – it reads more like a “declaration of principle” that provides more detailed commitments (see the similar structure of peace agreements with the Middle East!). This agreement is accompanied by a Memorandum of Understanding and draft Section 30, which states that “this shall be part of this Agreement”. From a technical point of view, the Edinburgh Agreement therefore includes all three documents. The word “ratification” and the ceremony surrounding the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement foreshadowed a treaty-like process. .