The Scottish Parliament was suspended in 1707 when it was decided to join a union with England to create Great Britain. It was reopened in 1999 and it was decided to commission a new building for the Parliament at the foot of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The initial cost, in 1999, was between £40 million and £50 million but over the next 5 years soared to over £400 million.

The building has a controversial design and polarises opinion – some people hate it and condemn it as a colossal waste of money. I think it looks fabulous and is a real asset to the city. It’s a building that Scotland can be proud of and these have been few and far between in the last 20 years.

The Union, established in 1707, is in real trouble as the political views of the Scottish and English electorate inexorably move apart. Will we see the establishment of Scotland as an independent country or will some other compromise be agreed to preserve the Union for a few more years? Much will depend on the debates and policies discussed in this building.


Photos by Ian Sommerville

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