Covid, climate and constitution will be key issues of new Parliament, say Holyrood researchers SPICe


Dealing with the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate emergency and the post-Brexit devolution settlement will feature heavily in the work of the next Scottish Parliament, according to a new paper by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

Published today, the Key Issues for Session 6 paper outlines the challenges facing MSPs as they confront the scale of the COVID-19 recovery, with researchers stressing a balancing act is required to promote recovery while keeping new variants at bay.

Following Brexit, MSPs will also have to contend with the new constitutional arrangements and the impact on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. SPICe also highlight the ‘twin crisis’ of climate change and biodiversity loss, with significant changes expected in coming years to tackle this emergency across all sectors of the economy and society - raising the challenge of how Parliaments can best engage with and scrutinise disruptive change. 

The briefing explores 26 key issues alongside the three themes, covering each major area of devolved policy - from mental health provision and changes in family law, to the business base in Scotland and changing car use.

Speaking as the briefing was published, Clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament David McGill said:

“The Key Issues for Session 6 briefing is an example of the vital work that SPICe produces for parliamentarians. It outlines the key subjects likely to be of particular interest for the new Parliament with tailored, impartial analysis of the issues that matter to MSPs.

“While the new Session will deal with a range of issues over the next five years, SPICe has identified the broad themes likely to feature heavily in the work of the Parliament as well as the key issues from across all areas of devolved policy.

“This briefing can either be read from cover to cover or readers can dip into whichever issues interest them the most. I hope it proves to be both a thought provoking and useful reference tool in the months and years ahead.”

You can read the full briefing paper online here and via PDF copy here.


The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) is the Parliament’s internal research centre. Its subject specialist researchers and information specialists provide impartial, factual, accurate and timely information and analysis to support MSPs in undertaking parliamentary business.  This includes support to enable MSPs to respond to constituency enquiries, scrutinise legislation and support the work of the Parliament’s committees. 

You can visit the SPICe website here.

Media information
Warren Hardie: 0131 348 5479
[email protected]

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