Scotland plans to hold an independence referendum in the autumn of 2014, First Minister Alex Salmond has said.
He said this date would allow the Scottish people to make a "considered" decision on Scotland's future within the United Kingdom.
The news came as the UK government said a referendum would be unconstitutional without its authority.
It has said it wanted to work with the SNP-led administration amid a row over the timing and conditions for a poll.
Confirming the Scottish government's preferred date for a referendum, Mr Salmond - who wants Scotland to leave the UK - said holding a poll in 2014 would allow all the necessary legislation required to authorise it to be passed and for proper preparations to be made, he said.
May or may not be too big, as this happened in '99 as well, but something can come of nothing very quickly. Thoughts?