The UK Government has published a command paper, which progresses the Smith Commission Agreement for further Scottish devolution.

The paper contains an annex of ‘Draft Scotland Clauses 2015’. These do not constitute a draft bill as such, but merely suggest the form that legislation could take in the future. The clauses will need to be developed further and brought forward in a new Scotland Bill. However, the new legislation will not start its passage through the Westminster Parliament until after the UK general election in May.

We have set out a summary of the command paper’s explanation of the draft clauses in the areas which are likely to be most relevant to our clients’ businesses: Tax; the Crown Estate; Fracking; Tribunals; Immigration; Equality; Infrastructure; Funding; Borrowing; the Scottish Parliament; and Elections and this can be found here. This also includes comments from some of our specialists on tax, employment, oil & gas, renewable energy and property.

We will be following closely the further progress of the development of the draft legislation and will be updating clients accordingly.