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[Portal] Scotland

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Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (About this soundlisten)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the European Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, King James VI of Scotland became king of England and Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, Great Britain entered into a political union with Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (in 1922, the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927).

Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England.

In 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. The head of the Scottish Government is the first minister of Scotland, who is supported by the deputy first minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the United Kingdom Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, and sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Scotland is divided into 32 administrative subdivisions or local authorities, known as council areas. Glasgow City is the largest council area in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. Limited self-governing power, covering matters such as education, social services and roads and transportation, is devolved from the Scottish Government to each subdivision.

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12 December 2019 – 2019 United Kingdom general election
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson loses her seat in East Dunbartonshire to the Scottish National Party. (The Independent)
14 November 2019 – 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis
After the admission of the European Arrest Warrant against her, ousted Catalan Education Minister Clara Ponsatí, who is in a "self-exile" in Edinburgh, appears in court and is bailed without charges hours after. (BBC News)
30 October 2019 – 2013 Glasgow helicopter crash
The fatal accident inquiry into the crash concludes with the issuing of a report by Sheriff Principal Craig Turnbull. Turnbull criticises the helicopter's pilot, prompting concerns by some victims over excessive blame being placed upon pilot error. The aircraft crashed into a bar after running out of fuel. (BBC News)
3 October 2019 –
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the UK Department for Transport issues a report on the grounding of cargo vessel MV Priscilla on the Pentland Skerries off the coast of Shetland, Scotland. The investigation concludes the lone crewmember on the bridge was distracted by watching music videos during the nighttime accident. The grounding triggered changes in procedures by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. (BBC)
21 September 2019 – Brexit
Thousands of protestors march in Edinburgh, Scotland, against the upcoming departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The crowd is addressed by Members of the UK Parliament, and Members of the Scottish Parliament. Amongst the attendees is MSP Joanna Cherry QC, who is taking legal action against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent prorogation of the UK Parliament. Cherry's action succeeded at Scotland's Court of Session, and is currently being reviewed by the UK Supreme Court. (BBC)
19 September 2019 – Brexit
The UK Supreme Court finishes hearing arguments on the lawfulness of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament. The court states it expects to rule next week. It is jointly considering appeals against two rulings. One, made by the High Court in London under English law, ruled prorogation was an entirely political decision over which courts had no jurisdiction. The other, made by the Court of Session in Edinburgh under Scots law, ruled Johnson acted unlawfully and the prorogation was a nullity that must be reversed. (BBC)

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