Salmond and Cameron at Wimbledon Final
Today is being described as 'historic' in some of the media, however one reason I would describe it in that way is because David Cameron has been forced into another 'must keep it as brief as possible because I don't like the place' visit. Another reason is because the signing of the deal signals the start of a 100 week battle over the UK's constitutional future.
The drawn out process of the ballot question has turned many away from the independence debate. Few voters are interested in the political detail and really want to start discussing how Scotland would manage without the support of the rest of the UK.
David Cameron's decision to give Alex Salmond most of what he requested has upset some of his critics. Why is it newspapers tend to quote Michael Forsyth when one is needed in connection with the independence referendum? Maybe he's the only one who answers the telephone to journalists.
Later this week the SNP hold their conference and I'm sure, away from television cameras, some good discussion will take place. One which must be resolved is the matter of campaign spending limits and the Yes campaign must insist the decision is made in Scotland not London. Alex Salmond wants to limit spending by each of the parties to £250,000 in the last four months of the campaign, with the official Yes and No campaigns limited to £750,000 each.
The Electoral Commission propose to allow registered parties to spend up to £1.5m during the last 16 weeks of the campaign, in addition to separate spending by each official referendum campaign based on their vote at the last Scottish elections. This will give the three pro-UK parties of Labour, the Tories and LibDems a significant advantage because they are all London based and have much bigger coffers than any Scotland-only party.
Perhaps Mr Salmond will manage to discuss this unfairness with Mr Cameron today, but if not, then the bias towards the No campaigns has to be seriously questioned.
We now have 100 weeks to discuss Scotland's future. One point I do mention to friends is that it's not up to Alex Salmond or the SNP to state the policies of an independent Scotland. That must be done once the referendum is won and it should be undertaken with consultation with the public.
The past couple of years has seen the SNP provide public consultations to a few of their proposals in the form of online registrations. That style should be included, but I would like to see an independent Scotland return to the face-to-face hustings style as well.
The countdown begins.