Holyrood and Westminster - who does what?

This page explains the different roles of the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.

   Scottish Parliament  UK Parliament
     
Where?  Scotland

 

Scotland

 

England

 

Wales

 

Northern Ireland

How many chambers? One chamber Two chambers (House of Commons and House of Lords)
How many members? 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

 

650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons

 

790 Members of the House of Lords, collectively known as peers

How many members represent Scotland? 129 MSPs representing you on devolved matters

 

59 MPs representing you on reserved matters

 

(Peers work for the whole of the UK)

Who does it scrutinise? The Scottish Government and its agencies The UK Government
How are members elected?

 

73 constituency MSPs are elected by the first-past-the-post-system

 

56 regional MSPs are elected by proportional representation

 

 

MPs are elected using the first-past-the-post-system

 

Peers are not currently elected, but are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister

When are elections?

 

Under the Scottish Parliament Elections (Dates) Act 2016, the next Scottish Parliament elections are scheduled to take place on 6 May 2021

 

Elections are every 5 years

The next UK Parliament election is scheduled for May 2020

 

 

So how does it work?

  Scottish Parliament             UK Parliament
Devolved or reserved? Devolved matters Reserved matters. The UK can make laws on devolved matters but it generally doesn't
Who proposes laws?

 

The Scottish Government

 

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

 

Committees of the Scottish Parliament

 

Private companies individuals or groups

 

The UK Government

 

Members of the House of Commons (MPs)

 

Members of the House of Lords

 

Private companies

Who examines the laws?

 

The Scottish Parliament

 

Committees of the Scottish Parliament

 

 

The House of Commons

 

The House of Lords

 

Committees

Who has the final say? MSPs

 

MPs

 

Members of the House of Lords

Who implements the laws? The Scottish Government The UK Government

Did you know?

         

You can watch MSPs and MPs live on Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament TV 

Each individual in Scotland is normally represented by eight MSPs (seven regional and one constituency) and one MP.

MSPs can also be MPs. This is known as holding a dual mandate.

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