Friday 1 July 2022

riaghaltas na h-alba

Coming into effect on this day in 1999 following a 1997 referendum, devolution meant that legislative powers for the constituent nation within the United Kingdom were transferred from the old Scottish Office in London (where the Lord Advocate had been responsible for many of the executive decisions of Scotland) officially to St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh where a cabinet of ministers accountable to the Scottish Parliament (previously here, here, here and here) are responsible for domestic policy and administration. While legislatively foreign and economic policy, consumer rights, pensions and trade are reserved matters for the UK parliament, major aspects regarding healthcare, education, justice, environment, policing and housing are devolved. That inaugural session of Parliament opened by Queen Elizabeth II also falls on the anniversary of the 1543 that united the kingdoms—though not before the terms were ultimately rejected by Scotland, leading to eight years of conflict known as the Rough Wooing.