Programme for Government 2017 to 2018

Sets out the actions we will take in the forthcoming year.

This document is part of a collection

A Stronger Scottish Parliament

Over the next year, Brexit will continue to provide the backdrop to much that we do. However, we will not be passive in the face of Brexit. We will continue to make the case for remaining in the single market and customs union.

We will take whatever steps we can to protect our economy from the damage Brexit will do. We will work to protect human, environmental, employment and consumer rights. And we will protect the Scottish Parliament by resisting any attempt at a power grab by the UK Government.

Over the next few months, we will also set out, in a series of evidence-based discussion papers, the case for further extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament in the following key areas:

  • immigration: setting out why it is vital to our economy to be able to attract talent from across Europe and the world; why current UK Government policy is so harmful to Scotland's interests; and how a more flexible approach to immigration, with more power for the Scottish Parliament, could operate
  • social security and employability: setting out how more comprehensive devolution of social security and employment support would allow the Scottish Parliament to deliver a more joined up system for those in and out of work; tackle poverty more effectively; and consider more fundamental options for long-term reform, such as a citizen's basic income scheme
  • employment: setting out how the Scottish Parliament could more effectively tackle issues of low pay and poor working practices, and protect workers' rights against any post-Brexit race to the bottom
  • trade: in the event the UK takes the damaging decision to leave the EU Customs Union, setting out why it is essential for the Scottish Parliament to have a role in negotiating and ratifying future UK trade deals, to help our industries, protect devolved public services and ensure the highest standards of environmental and consumer protection

We will also explore how responsibility for a broader range of taxes would enable the Scottish Parliament to take more balanced budget decisions, grow the economy and tackle poverty more effectively. We believe additional powers in these areas will give us the tools to go even further than this Programme and help us achieve its ambitions.

These proposals will be in line with the fundamental belief that decisions about Scotland are best taken by those of us who live and work here.

We will seek to build consensus in these areas across the political spectrum and wider civic society.


Email: Gavin Henderson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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