Devolution

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on devolution. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
06.02.2015Devolution of financial powers to the Scottish Parliament: recent developments
This note discusses the proposals made by the Smith Commission - in its report published in November 2014 - for further devolution of power to the Scottish Government, in relation to taxation, funding and borrowing.
06.02.2015Further devolution of powers to Scotland: Universal Credit housing element and payment arrangements
This note explains the Smith Commission's proposals and the Draft Scotland Clauses in relation to Universal Credit (UC), including the housing costs element (currently Housing Benefit). As it stands, UC will remain a reserved benefit but the Scottish Parliament would be given the power to vary the housing costs element of UC, and powers to vary the manner and frequency of UC payments.
28.01.2015Devolution of corporation tax to Northern Ireland
On 7 January 2015 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, announced the introduction of legislation to enable the devolution of corporation tax in Northern Ireland in April 2017. A Bill was presented to the House the following day. This note discusses the development of the Government's policy and the wider debate over corporate tax competition.
28.01.2015Scotland the referendum and independence: Selected timeline
This Note gives a selected timeline of events and significant publications leading up to the Referendum in Scotland on 18 September 2014 and to some of the potential follow-up events.
28.01.2015Draft Scotland Clauses: summary
The Government has published draft clauses on further devolution to Scotland, taking forward the Smith Commission Agreement. This note provides a summary.

Research Papers

DateDescription
30.09.2014Scottish Independence Referendum 2014
In the Scottish Independence Referendum held on the 18th September 2014, the proposition 'Should Scotland be an independent country?' was rejected by a margin of 10.6 percentage points. The turnout at the referendum was 84.6% including rejected papers (84.5% based on valid votes). This is the highest turnout at a nationwide referendum or parliamentary election in Scotland since the franchise was extended to women in 1918.
27.03.2014Wales Bill 2013-14
The Wales Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons on 20 March 2014; it is due to have its second reading on 31 March 2014. The Bill devolves some tax-raising powers to the National Assembly for Wales. Stamp duty and landfill tax are devolved, while a power is created to reduce income tax by 10 pence in the pound and put a Welsh rate of income tax in its place. The Bill allows these powers over income tax to be devolved only if they are approved in a referendum, the calling of which is subject to parliamentary approval and a two-thirds majority in the Assembly.
07.08.2012UK Election Statistics: 1918-2012
This paper presents an overview of results from UK elections since 1918, including elections to the House of Commons, the European Parliament, devolved bodies and local government.
14.06.2011Scotland Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the Commons committee stage of the Scotland Bill 2010-12. Introduced to the House of Commons on 30 November 2010, its second reading was on 27 January 2011, and its committee stage took place on the floor of the House on 7, 14 and 15 March 2011. Report and third reading are scheduled for 21 June 2011. On 13 June 2011 the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, announced a package of changes to the Bill in response to issues that had been raised in the UK and Scottish Parliaments, and by the Scottish Government.
11.05.2011Legislation (Territorial Extent) Bill: Committee Stage Report
This Paper examines the progress of the Bill during its House of Commons Committee Stage. Further detail on the Bill is available in Research Paper 11/17, prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
18.01.2012Corporation tax in Northern Ireland: Government response to the Committee's first report.
Government response. Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
22.03.2011Constitutional implications of the Cabinet Manual.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
11.01.2011The implications for Wales of the Government's proposals for constitutional reform.
Government response. Welsh Affairs Select Committee; Office of the Secretary of State for Wales report [Commons]
18.11.2010The proposed amendment of Schedule 7 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.
Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
20.07.2010Wales and Whitehall.
Government response. Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
23.11.2011ELECTORAL SYSTEM IN WALES
That this House recognises that the Government has no mandate to change the current system for elections to the Welsh Assembly; and believes that any proposals for change to that system ...
31.10.2011MICHAEL D. HIGGINS PRESIDENT OF IRELAND
That this House welcomes the election of Michael D. Higgins as President of Ireland as a beacon for reason, tolerance and decency on these islands and throughout the Irish diaspora; ...
08.09.2011COACH CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL
That this House welcomes the decision by the Welsh Assembly Government to honour its pledge to retain the coach concessionary travel scheme for journeys that begin in Wales; acknowledges ...
05.09.2011PROPOSED WELSH LANGUAGE SCHOOL: YSGOL GYMRAEG GWYNFOR
That this House notes that next year will be the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Gwynfor Evans of Barry, who was voted the fourth most important Welsh hero of the last millennium ...
16.03.2011DEVOLUTION
That this House welcomes the result of the recent referendum in Wales; notes that this will give the Welsh Assembly Government direct law-making powers in 20 devolved areas, including ...

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
23.10.2014Debate on 29 October 2014: Devolution Following the Scotland Referendum
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate in the House of Lords on 29 October 2014 on devolution following the Scottish independence referendum, which took place on 18 September 2014.
08.08.2014Polling Data on the Scottish Independence Referendum
This Library Note-an update to a previous Note published on 23 June 2014-focuses on public opinion polling data in relation to the Scottish independence referendum.
16.07.2014Wales Bill (HL Bill 34 of 2014-15)
The Wales Bill would provide for a range of measures in three key areas. The first is elections to the National Assembly for Wales, where the Bill would alter the length of the electoral term and rules on candidacy. Secondly, the Bill would make provision with regard to a number of financial matters, including the devolution of some tax-raising powers to the Welsh Assembly. Thirdly, the Bill would make provision with regard to housing revenue account debt in Wales, and to adjust the relationship between Welsh Ministers and the Law Commission.
19.06.2014Referendum on Scottish Independence
On 18 September 2014, Scotland will hold a referendum on whether it should be an independent country. This Library Note updates a previous Library Note, published on 27 January 2014, on the subject of the possible consequences of a 'Yes' vote. The Note aims to provide broad discussion of some of the main issues raised in connection with the subject, and lists possible sources for further reading.
12.07.2012Debate on 19 July: Silk Commission on Devolution in Wales
This Lords Library Note provides background information for the debate on 19 July on the Silk Commission considering the possible devolution of fiscal powers to the National Assembly for Wales.
11.07.2011Scotland Bill (HL Bill 79 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides information for the second reading of the Scotland Bill in the House of Lords.

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses