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Inter UK law comparison

Even from the time of the union between England and Scotland in 1707, there have been significant differences between some of the laws of the two countries, not least those relating to land and real property.

Since Scottish devolution (in 1999), the areas of difference have increased. The pace of change is now being accelerated with the transfer from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament, under the Scotland Act 2012, of greater powers, including relative to separate "Scottish" SDLT, landfill tax and a proportion of income tax.

Couple this increased volume and nature of changes between the two jurisdictions, with the issues raised in the ongoing debates and discussions about the possibility of Scottish independence following the referendum (in September 2014), and changes being made to property law issues in England but which do not apply to Scotland, and you have very fluid situation.

Morton Fraser are monitoring all developments (in England and Scotland) in order to be able to provide our UK property clients with the best advice on a comparison of the actual or anticipated position relative to real estate interests in England and Scotland.

Here under "Useful information" in the right hand menu; we collate in one place fact sheets on the major areas of change, giving for each area:

  • its current status e.g. already law or a definite future change (which is not yet in force) or a proposal which might never become law
  • a summary of the nature of the change and the timing (if any has yet been set) for when it will apply and
  • a comparison of the rules which apply (or will apply, should the change be made) in England and in Scotland.

Our focus here is on real estate, but we have included the income tax section as it is part of the Scotland Act package.