The Electoral Commission has officially designated the two main referendum groups Yes Scotland, which is fighting for a yes vote, and the pro-UK group Better Together as the official lead campaigns in the contest. The two groups will be allowed to spend up to £1.5m during the official 16 week campaign, which begins on 30 May, and be allowed free delivery of millions of campaign leaflets and free airtime for campaign broadcasts before the vote on 18 September. The widely anticipated confirmation came with a plea from John McCormick, the election commissioner for Scotland, for numerous smaller campaign groups expected to take an active role in the referendum to register themselves quickly.
“Other individuals and organisations are also campaigning for either outcome in the referendum,” McCormick said. “Anyone intending to spend more than £10,000 during the referendum period is required to register with the Electoral Commission, which I would encourage them to do as soon as possible so that voters can see who they are and what they are campaigning for.”
… The announcement reignited the row over the CBI’s decision to register officially as a no campaign last week, provoking a furious backlash from pro-independence campaigners and an exodus of public bodies and universities who were members. After it emerged that the CBI was one of only five groups to have registered so far, Better Together said McCormick’s appeal needed to be heeded by the pro-independence campaign, which had led attacks on the CBI and other no campaigns.