Scotland will adopt press regulation Royal Charter if it votes yes to independence

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The Scottish Government has said that the Royal Charter on press regulation will apply north of the border should Scotland vote yes to independence later this year.

A Scottish government spokesman told The Drum: “With the agreement of the Scottish government, the Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press that was ordered to be sealed at a meeting of the Privy Council on 30 October 2013 extends to Scotland.

“That charter establishes a recognition mechanism for a new regulator that meets certain criteria. It will be for the press to actually establish a regulator or regulators. Independence need make no difference to this."

Most UK newspaper publishers are in the process of setting up their own regulator – called the Independent Press Standards Organisation – which falls outside the Royal Charter system. It is set to be up and running by April.

John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, told The Drum: "By September Ipso will only have been up and running for a maximum of 20 weeks and will not have had the time to prove its worth.

"Setting aside the referendum, I doubt whether a verdict can be delivered on Ipso for some considerable time and I cannot imagine that politicians of any hue will want to pick a fight with the press over regulation going into the 2015 general election."

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