The Scottish Government is expected to abide by the advice of the official body that is scrutinising the proposed question for the independence referendum, the Deputy First Minister has confirmed.
Nicola Sturgeon provisionally addressed concerns that ministers may ignore forthcoming guidance from the Electoral Commission on the grounds that it is non-binding and could potentially be at odds with their own formulation, which some have dismissed as "leading".
Holyrood's Referendum Bill Committee approved new powers to stage the referendum.
Ms Sturgeon also set aside speculation that the outcome of the referendum could still end up in the courts, despite these new powers, arguing that any legal challenge is unlikely to be effective.
However, the committee also heard further evidence from experts who said concerns remain over the neutrality of the question, the process of the referendum and the legality of the outcome.
Ms Sturgeon said: "I think any government anywhere in the UK would not depart from Commission advice unless there was a very strong reason to do so. Any government doing so would clearly have to justify itself before Parliament.
"That's not a position I want to be in, it's not a position I expect to be in, but nor am I going to sit here and attempt to give away the proper role of Government and Parliament in this process, because I think it's right that that process is one that we continue to respect."
The committee unanimously approved the modification of Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998, which confers powers on the Scottish Parliament to stage the referendum with a question and date of their choosing, within certain limits, and extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds.
Ms Sturgeon also remained firm on the timing of their independence plans, which are not due to be finalised until November 2013, and their decision to send the question away for testing in advance.
"The order we have chosen to do things is the right order," she said. It's absolutely essential that the testing of the question is done in good timing ahead of the Referendum Bill."