Official languages = English (Recognised regional languages = Scottish Gaelic, Scots)
Patron saint = St. Andrew
Government = Constitutional monarchy
Monarch = Elizabeth II
First Minister (Head of Scottish Government = Alex Salmond MP MSP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom = Gordon Brown MP
Scotland is part of the United Kingdom.
Occupying the northern third of theisland of Great Britain, it shares a border with:
• England to the south
• is bounded by the North Sea to the east
• the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west
• The North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest.
• In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Edinburgh, the country's capital and second largest city, is one ofEurope's largest financial centres. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, was once one of the world's leading industrial cities.
The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent sovereign state before 1 May 1707 when it entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain.
This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by thetwin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries.
Scotland's legal system continues to be separate from those of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and Scotland still constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and in private law.
The continued independence of:
Scottish education system
Church of Scotland
= Scottish culture and Scottish national identity1999 = creation of the devolved Scottish Parliament
2007 = first ever pro-independence Scottish Government elected: the Scottish National Party
1603 = James VI King of Scots inherited the throne of the Kingdom of England
became King James I of England
left Edinburgh for London.
Scotland remained a separate state
there was considerable conflict between thecrown over the form of church government.
22 July 1706 = Treaty of Union was agreed between representatives of the Scots Parliament and the Parliament of England to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain (effect from 1 May 1707)
Scottish Enlightenment + Industrial Revolution = made Scotland into an intellectual, commercial and industrial powerhouse (After World War II, Scotlandexperienced an industrial decline which was particularly severe)
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
1997= referendum for an independent parliament
Scotland Act 1998 was passed by the United Kingdom Parliament to establish a devolved Scottish Parliament.
Scotland's head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952).
Scotland has partial self-government withinthe United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
The United Kingdom Parliament retains power over a set list of areas explicitly specified in the Scotland Act 1998:
o levels of UK taxes
o social security
o international relationsThe Scottish Parliament has legislative authority for all other areas relating to Scotland.
The Scottish Parliament = unicameral legislature
129 Members : serving for a four year period
- 73 of whom represent individual constituencies + are elected on a first past the post system
- 56 are elected in eight different electoral regions by the additional member system.
- 1 appointed byThe Queen to be First Minister
2007 election = the Scottish National Party (SNP), which campaigns for Scottish independence, won the election The leader: Alex Salmond, First Minister on 16 May 2007 as head of a minority government.
The Labour Party = the largest opposition party, with the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party are also represented in the...