New tax and borrowing powers for the Scottish Parliament are expected to be backed by MSPs. The measures are part of the UK government's Scotland Bill which can't be passed without Holyrood's support.
Berwickshire MP and Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore says the event is "momentous".
But in the House of Commons Mr Moore MP clashed with the leader of the SNP parliamentary group Angus Robertson. At issue, the balance between so called devo max powers and full blown independence for Scotland:
The Scottish government says the bill is "a missed opportunity'' and Scotland needs much more financial power to grow the economy.
To win backing for the bill from MSPs, UK ministers dropped plans to return certain powers to Westminster and agreed to review the role of the UK Supreme Court in Scottish criminal cases.The Holyrood parliament voted unanimously to support the Bill.
The Scotland Bill includes a new Scottish rate of income tax, the power to create new taxes and new borrowing powers. Holyrood will also have powers over air weapons in Scotland, responsibility for drink-driving and speed limits on Scotland's roads and a role in appointments in broadcasting and the Crown Estate.
Speaking after the vote Michael Moore MP said:
– Michael Moore MP
"The resounding vote by the Scottish Parliament takes us a major step towards providing Holyrood with radical new financial powers that will enable MSPs to bring real change to Scotland in the years ahead. The strength of the vote tonight shows that MSPs across the Chamber recognise that the Scotland Bill is a good thing for individuals, families and communities across Scotland.
There were times when it sounded like the Scottish Government would not support this transfer of powers. However, I am glad that the Scottish Government and Parliament have now chosen to come on board and support a Bill that will further empower the Scottish people and make the Parliament more accountable to them.
The cross-party consenus underpinning this Bill shows that we can make progress on reform when parties work together to develop the detailed and serious proposals needed to make devolution work."
The Scotland Bill proposes the biggest transfer of fiscal power since the creation of the UK, including:
- a new Scottish rate of income tax
- the devolution of stamp duty land tax
- the devolution of landfill tax
- the power to create new taxes
- £2.2 bn capital borrowing powers
- £500m resource borrowing powers