Scottish devolution: what powers does Holyrood currently hold, and how could Brexit affect devolved laws in Scotland?

Holyrood has been able to pass its own laws since 1998 (Getty Images)Holyrood has been able to pass its own laws since 1998 (Getty Images)
Holyrood has been able to pass its own laws since 1998 (Getty Images)
Plans by the UK government to make state aid for industry a reserved matter have been described by Nicola Sturgeon as ‘a blatant move to erode the powers’

Boris Johnson could deny Scotland a say on industrial subsidies following the Brexit transition, according to the Financial Times.

The idea was met with anger by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who labelled it “a full scale assault on devolution”.

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The new legislation would allow the Westminster government to pressure Scotland and Wales into accepting terms on new food, environment and animal welfare terms in trade agreements with other countries.

Ms Sturgeon said this was “a blatant move to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament in key areas.”

According to the Financial Times report, the UK government regard state aid as “a reserved power”, or a power on which the UK government can pass laws on for the whole of the UK, rather than a devolved matter - a power which the Holyrood government can pass laws on.

It is expected that the proposals will stoke tension on the issue of how to delegate powers previously decided by the European Union.

Here’s what the Scottish Parliament does and doesn’t have a final say on.

Scottish devolved powers

The Scotland Act 1998 established a Scottish Parliament which held powers to make its own laws.

Subsequent acts, including the Scotland Act 2012, gave Holyrood a greater range of powers.

Currently Holyrood is able to create laws on the following:

- Agriculture, forestry and fisheries

- Education and training

- Environment

- Health and social services

- Housing

- Law and order

- Local government

- Sport and the arts

- Tourism and economic development

- Many aspects of transport

Reserved powers

Reserved powers are those which the UK government can still pass laws on.

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Currently Westminster is able to pass laws which have an impact UK-wide on the following:

- Benefits and social security

- Immigration

- Defence

- Foreign policy

- Employment

- Broadcasting

- Trade and industry

- Nuclear energy, oil, coal, gas and electricity

- Consumer rights

- Data protection

- The Constitution

How could Brexit affect devolved powers?

Powers previously held by the EU will be "repatriated” following the Brexit transition period.

The likes of immigration and trade will become the responsibility of the Westminster government. EU powers which intersect with devolved issues will be delegated to the Scottish Parliament.

In some areas, such as agriculture, state aid for industry and aspects of energy, justice and transport, it was expected that UK and devolved governments would agree UK-wide common frameworks.

The UK government appears set to treat state aid as a reserved power rather than a common framework.