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Divisions remain over new powers

Scotland Bill completes passage through Commons

David MundellThe Scotland Bill on new devolved powers completed its final stages in the Commons tonight but was still a source of deep division.

Conservative ministers insist the bill will make the Scottish Parliament the most powerful devolved assembly in the world and will fulfil promises made last year.

It will give Holyrood extra authority over income tax, some VAT receipts and welfare benefits.

The SNP said it did not meet the recommendations on new powers made by the Smith Commission. Even so, the party chose not to oppose it.

The bill will now move to the House of Lords and will also need approval from Holyrood before receiving royal assent, most likely early next year.

A bid to give the Scottish parliament the power to call a second referendum was rejected.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell (pictured) said it was a “significant day for Scotland”, while Peter Wishart for the SNP was critical of the short time allowed to debate the bill.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray MP said: “The challenge now is to the SNP government to tell us how they are going to use these powers.”

 

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