The UK and Scottish governments have made progress in settling their differences over the independence referendum, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has said.
Mr Moore was speaking as the coalition government published the 3,000 responses it received to its consultation on the poll, which the SNP wants to hold in 2014.
The Scottish Secretary has already said that the 2014 date, which was initially opposed by London, was "not a barrier to agreement". The two governments also agree that the Electoral Commission should have a role in reviewing the question.
Both governments agree in principle to the idea of Holyrood's powers being temporarily extended through a section 30 order to safeguard the vote from legal challenges. However, Edinburgh says it will not allow London to attach conditions to the order.
Three-quarters of respondents to the UK government's consultation said they favoured a straight "in or out" vote on whether or not Scotland should leave the UK.
The Scottish Government held its own consultation exercise, which has attracted about 21,000 responses.
The two governments still disagree over whether 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to take part.
Whether a third option of enhanced powers to Holyrood should be included on the ballot paper is also to be decided.
Mr Moore said: "The publication of the consultation responses clearly demonstrates the quality of the argument from all quarters of Scotland for a referendum which is legal, fair and decisive.
"There is also strong support behind the case for holding the referendum sooner than the Scottish Government's proposed date of autumn 2014. I have indicated that the timing of the referendum should not be a barrier to us agreeing the referendum process and moving on to the real debate.
"I hope the First Minister will agree that we should get on with sorting this."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We welcome the fact that Mr Moore has restated the position that the timing of any referendum should not be a barrier to agreeing a way forward, and the referendum shall take place in autumn 2014.
"The terms and the timing of the referendum are matters to be decided in Scotland - not imposed by Westminster. We are now proceeding with our referendum consultation being independently analysed, and will publish by the end of the summer."
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