Friday, 3 July 2015

No English Devolution Referendum?

 The government plans to give English MPs a veto on English-only laws by amending the standing orders of the Commons, meaning it can be passed by parliament with only one vote and without the need for months of scrutiny, is an interesting take on how devolution works
The Establishment of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament only came about after two referendums  and of course in 2011 we in Wales had to vote again in order to allow the  make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?"
Now it seems that English MPs will be granted similar powers  without  any real debate let alone such a referendum being put to the English Electorate.
And yet there is no referendum for such a major constitutional change.
I don't really support this but its an interesting question
The Proposal are that 
  • The Speaker will judge which parts of a bill relate to just England, or England and Wales
  • An England-only committee stage will consider bills deemed "England-only in their entirety"
  • Membership of this committee will reflect the number of MPs each party has in England
  • Where sections of legislation relate only to England or England and Wales, agreement of a "Legislative Grand Committee" will be required

This will mean that certain powers are effectively devolved to English MPs internally within Westminster and that English MPs will have effectively more devolved powers than Welsh AMs.

 If you think the referral oft he Welsh Assembly  to the High Court over whether it has a remit in certain areas has been to many. Expect constant challenges to legislation on EVEL English Votes on English Laws) and calls for referral to the High Court.
There will be no changes in the House of Lords, M. But where Lords amendments are certified as England or England and Wales only, a "double majority" system applies, meaning it will need a majority of both the whole House of Commons and MPs representing English or English and Welsh constituencies
Apparently Tablet computers will be used to count MPs' votes as they walk through the voting lobbies so officials can instantly register whether they have used their veto in votes where the "double majority" rule applies.
So we may have symbolic votes  where MPs all troop through the Lobby only for over a Hundred to be discounted.
This week  59 MPs – 56 of whom are from the SNP voted to strengthen the powers that will be devolved to Scotland by the Scotland Bill.but were outvoted 
“On overruling MPs, that’s very interesting because on the Scotland Bill, 58 of 59 Scottish MPs have voted for that legislation to be strengthened and they have been outvoted by English MPs,” said SNP's Angus Robertson.
“Not content with outvoting Scottish MPs elected on a mandate to strengthen the Scotland Bill, he is now going to introduce second-class status for us as MPs elected from Scotland on issues which can impact on the Scottish budget.”
It is Important that the English Question is answered but is this really the way to go about it 
.Either create an English only Parliament or devolve powers within England 
Cameron is pandering to an Anti Scottish  element in England by changing the Commons rules in an undemocratic manner which has not been thought out .

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