The independent sovereign state of Scotland entered into political union with England in 1707 with the ratification of the Treaty of Union. This created a single united kingdom with the single Parliament based in England. However, Scotland retained distinct legal, educational and religious institutions. This contributed to the separate culture and identity of Scotland despite the Union.
There has been a continued movement for a resumption of independence since the 1707 Union, which met with considerable protests across Scotland at the time. Since 1999 a Scottish Parliament has been in existence. This devolved legislature has been continuously seeking further powers of determination over Scottish affairs. In 2011 the Scottish National Party (SNP) won an overall electoral majority in the Parliament and announced it’s intention to hold referendum on independence from United Kingdom. This referendum was held on 18 September 2014. Although over 45% of those voting supported independence it was not enough to win at this stage. However, as a way of seeking to keep Scotland within the UK the Westminster (UK) government promised increased powers for the Scottish Parliament.