5 On 18 September 2014 the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. The cross-party Smith Commission was established by the Prime Minister to agree further powers that should be devolved to Scotland. The cross-party talks facilitated an inclusive engagement process across Scotland and agreed further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Ministers, particularly more financial, welfare and taxation powers, strengthening the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government within the United Kingdom.
6 The Smith Commission Agreement, agreed by all of Scotland’s 5 main political parties, was published in November 2014. The UK Government produced draft clauses and a command paper that indicated how the Agreement would be implemented in January 2015.
7 The policy objective of the Bill is to implement the Smith Commission Agreement. This will increase the Scottish Parliament's ability to make autonomous choices that benefit the people of Scotland; and to be accountable for those decisions. The Bill will devolve a wide range of powers to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.