Guide The Scottish Political System Since Devolution

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The Act devolves all powers except over matter it specifies as reserved matters. Even when acting within its legislative competence, the Act further constrains the powers of the Parliament by inhibiting it from acting in a manner incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights or European Community law. The Scottish Parliament met for the first time on 12 May and began its first session with SNP member Winnie Ewing stating "the Scottish Parliament, adjourned on 25th day of March in the year , is hereby reconvened" [12]. Construction of the Scottish Parliament building began in June and the first debate in the new building was held on Tuesday 7 September The formal opening by the Queen took place on 9 October From until the opening of the new building in , committee rooms and the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament were housed in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland located on The Mound in Edinburgh.

The building aims to conceive a poetic union between the Scottish landscape , its people , its culture and the city of Edinburgh, an approach that won the parliament building numerous awards including the Stirling Prize , and it has been described as "a tour de force of arts and crafts and quality without parallel in the last years of British architecture". A Scottish Executive was created under section 44 of the Scotland Act The Calman Commission was established by a motion passed by the Scottish Parliament on 6 December During , agreement was reached to transfer responsibility for all planning and nature conservation matters at sea up to miles from the Scottish coast to the Scottish Government.

The change has implications for the offshore industry , wind and wave power and to a lesser extent, fishing, though responsibility for fishing quotas remains a European Union issue and oil and gas licensing and permitting remains a reserved matter.

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In August the SNP announced a Referendum Bill would be included in its package of bills to be debated before Parliament in —10, with the intention of holding a referendum on the issues of Scottish independence in November The bill did not pass due to the SNP's status as a minority administration , and due to the initial opposition to the Bill from all other major parties in the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government also suggested that full fiscal autonomy for Scotland known as "devo-max" could be an alternative option in the vote. The negotiation of the Edinburgh Agreement resulted in the UK government legislating to provide the Scottish Parliament with the powers to hold the referendum. The "devo-max" option was not included, however, as the Edinburgh Agreement stipulated that the referendum had to be a clear binary choice between independence or the existing devolution arrangements.

The Guardian view on devolution since 1999: still grappling with who we are

Two days before the referendum was held, with polls very close, the leaders of the three main UK political parties made "The Vow", a public pledge to devolve "extensive new powers" to the Scottish Parliament if independence was rejected. They also agreed to a devolution timetable proposed by Gordon Brown. After heavy campaigning by both sides, voting took place on 18 September The day after the referendum, David Cameron announced the formation of the Smith Commission to "convene cross-party talks" concerning "recommendations for further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament".

Two months later, on 27 November , the commission published its recommendations, which included giving the Scottish Parliament complete power to set income tax rates and bands, increased borrowing powers, and an extensive list of other rights and powers.


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The Act recognised the Scottish Parliament and a Scottish Government as permanent among UK's constitutional arrangements, with a referendum required before either can be abolished. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Directorates Public bodies. Constituencies and electoral regions. Intergovernmental relations. Scotland and the European Union. Administrative Divisions. Other countries Atlas. Main article: Scottish Covenant Association. Main article: Kilbrandon Report. Main article: Scottish devolution referendum, The MoU also sets out the agreement between the UK government and the devolved administrations on the procedure for avoiding and resolving disputes.

Like the MoU itself, this agreement is a statement of intent, creating no legal obligations between the parties and binding in honour only. Most contact between administrations occurs on a bilateral or multilateral basis but to provide central coordination of the overall relationship, the Joint Ministerial Committee was established by the MoU. Its purpose is to provide central coordination of the overall relationship between the administrations.

The JMC may meet in a range of formats, including plenary meetings chaired by the Prime Minister or her representative. You can see details of the most recent meeting on the No 10 website. To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Skip to main content.

Devolution Explained in 60 Seconds

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Published 18 February Last updated 8 May — see all updates. Contents Overview Background to devolution Devolved legislatures Devolved administrations Territorial offices Memorandum of Understanding Funding the devolved administrations Relations between administrations Joint Ministerial Committee. Overview Devolution is a process of decentralisation and puts power closer to the citizen, so that local factors are better recognised in decision making. Explore the topic Devolution. Is this page useful?

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