MSPs have approved the Scotland Bill, giving consent to Westminster to deliver a raft of new powers to Scotland.
The Bill will hand Holyrood power over income tax, air passenger duty, abortion law, the Crown Estate and benefits such as support for carers and those with disabilities. It will also assign a share of VAT receipts to the Scottish budget.
It also recognises the permanence of the Scottish Parliament, with a referendum needed in order to abolish it.
MSPs from across the political spectrum told how the Bill is the culmination of “a journey” which has seen them embrace devolution – although some said it still does not go far enough.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said the Bill – which the UK Government has designed to be an “enduring settlement for Scotland in the United Kingdom” – is a step on the road to even more powers.
He was backed by former first minister Alex Salmond, who said it is only a matter of time before Scotland assumes further responsibilities.
Former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray acknowledged Holyrood’s founding devolution legislation was flawed, but said it is time to stop demanding more powers and start using tools that Scotland has been given.
Former Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie said her views on devolution have changed since 1999, and she welcomed the Bill which her party said will create “one of the most powerful devolved legislatures in the world”.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats called for power to be devolved further to communities, and the Scottish Greens pledged to continue to build the case for independence.
Mr Swinney urged MSPs to give their consent to the Bill which delivers “a set of powers that do not enable us to do all that this government would be able to do, but a range of powers that we will use to the full”.
He added: “I believe that the more we exercise self-government here in Scotland, the more the benefits become clear to members of the public, then the stronger the argument becomes for extending our powers even further.
“That is Scotland’s journey and I encourage parliament today to take a further decisive step on that journey.”
Mr Salmond, who stands down this month but hinted that he may return to Holyrood, remarked upon the shifting position of his opponents on devolution.
“It should be remembered that it is ten years since a Labour first minister said there should be no further transfer of power from London to Scotland, and five years since a Conservative leader said that a line should be drawn in the sand,” he said.
“This parliament, and this country, are on a journey… the only question is: at what pace will this parliament, the Scottish people and their government assume further responsibility?”
Mr Gray said: “Anyone … who sees these powers over tax and welfare and only asks themselves ‘why don’t I have more’ rather than ‘what am I going to do with this incredible opportunity?’ should be asking themselves if they are in the right place.
“There is no excuse for timidity now. No excuse to accept cuts that we say are unacceptable. No excuse to fail in making investments that we say are critical. No reason to say that there is another way and then fail to take it.”
Ms Goldie said the Bill “encapsulates a journey for me – a marked change in my views since 1999” on devolution.
MSPs unanimously agreed that the Scotland Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on May 28 2015, as amended, should be considered by the UK Parliament.