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To what extent does the role of the Scottish Parliament conflict with Westminster.

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    Posted by Wolfgirlx (U15715474) on Monday, 6th May 2013

    Sorry to post on a bank holiday but is this essay okay. My teacher said to add more policy to it and I have tried to but I don't know whether it'd be good enough in an exam. Thanks in advance.

    Due to devolution the Scottish government has gained many powers which can often lead it to conflict with Westminster. However, as there are only certain devolved issues that scotland can legislate on this limits the conflicts with Westminster as their powers are separate.

    One way cooperation is achieved is through Sewel motions. This is when England decide a bill (on a devolved matter) is necessary in Scotland so put it through, usually with Scotland’s permission. Each session Westminster put through many bills working with the Scottish parliament to get whats best for Scottish constituents. This means that cooperation is achieved as both Westminster and the Scottish parliament have to work together to benefit the constituents of Scotland.

    Scotland also has certain devolved matters it can legislate on this has limited the overlapping of powers of the Governments. This leaves a clear definition on the matters that are relevant mainly to Scotland and allows the Scottish government to legislate on issues important to its people, whilst also allowing Westminster to deal with issues that affect the whole of the UK such as Foreign policy. This shows that the powers of the governments have not over lapped as there are strict rules on the issues which each can legislate which provide them both with separate issues they can deal with.

    Westminster and the scottish government can conflict over matters of law, as law is devolved matter Westminster has little say on what happens in Scotland’s law systems and prisons. This caused conflict when Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskil chose to release the Lockerbie bombing suspect on compassionate grounds due to his ill health. Westminster disagreed with this decision made by the Scottish Government and David Cameron spoke publicly saying that the Justice Secretary was wrong. This shows that Westminster do conflict with the Scottish Parliament.

    Powers can also be a source of conflict between Westminster and and the Scottish Parliament, over issues such as immigration and defense which are both reserved matters . This means the Scottish Parliament have no power in these areas and cannot propose any legislation or bills to do with these matters. This has caused conflict, for example when the war fell in Iraq as defense is a reserved issue although the Scottish Parliament disagreed with the proposal of going to war they had no choice as it was not a devolved matter. This caused conflict as Scotland has lost a lot of soldiers who have died fighting in a war the Scottish Parliament did not want to get involved with.

    The West Lothian question can also cause conflict between the Scottish Government and Westminster. The decrease in the number of Scottish MP’s also reflects the increasing similarity of Scotland and Westminster’s roles, as less representatives from Scotland are needed to represent Scotland’s views on key issues as Scotland are now gaining many other devolve powers such as the power to ban air guns and set save drinking limits. This has been shown as earlier this year a vote failed to further limit the number of Scottish MP’s at westminster, with many MP’s questioning the need for the remaining 57 MP’s in Westminster. This represents how the roles of the Governments are overlapping and this can cause conflicts.

    Overall, the roles of both Governments are very similar so their roles do sometimes conflict. However, both Governments do have clear issues they are allowed to legislate on which minimises the conflict between the Governments.

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