Thousands of Scottish servicemen will be barred from taking part in the referendum on breaking up Britain next year despite special provision being made to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.
Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister, yesterday published legislation to draw up a separate and confidential electoral register for minors who will turn 16 by the time of the autumn 2014 referendum. However, no similar special arrangements have been made for Scottish members of the armed forces who are serving abroad or in the remainder of the UK. They will only be able to vote on the future of their country if they are registered to vote at an address north of the Border, but two of the five battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland are scheduled to be based elsewhere.
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