Friday, 23 October 2015
EVEL won't and cannot work
The SNP have provided a useful guide to how English Votes for English Laws
Currently a bill goes through the following stages in the House of Commons:
First Reading -> Second Reading -> Committee stage -> Report Stage -> Third Stage
This will significantly change if EVEL is introduced.(my comments are in Black
⇨ Stage one
When a bill is introduced in the Commons, the Speaker will be required to ‘certify’ whether the bill, or parts of it, relates exclusively to England, or England and Wales.
What about Northern Ireland? I have not seen any mention of this at all
⇨ Stage two
The Bill will go through its Second Reading and Committee Stage as normal.
Therefore Scottish and Welsh (and NI MPs?) will be expected to serve on committees for Bills they will eventually have no say on. Though as below shows this will change '
⇨ Stage three
If the Speaker has decided a bill relates only to England it will go through a special, additional Committee Stage. A legislative Grand Committee will be set up, where only English MPs will consider the Bill. The membership of this committee will reflect the electoral makeup of England.
If the Speaker has decided a bill relates only to England and Wales, the legislative Grand Committee will be made up of English and Welsh MPs.
This stage allows English or English and Welsh MPs to debate legislation, and either consent to it or veto it, with no involvement from Scottish MPs – regardless of any knock on effects the legislation may have on Scotland.
Shouldn't this happen at Stage two?
What if there is a Labour Prime Minister but the Tories have a Majority of English MPs? Will this mean that the Tory leader is De facto First Minister of England ? even if He/She is not Prime Minister. Will it eventually lead to alternative Cabinet of English MPs who will propose English only Bills?
⇨ Stage four
The Bill will go through its fourth stage before progressing to the House of Lords.
Clearly if there is significant reform of the second Chamber this would have to change further muddying the issue.
⇨ Post House of Lords stage
The legislative process in the House of Lords is unchanged. However any amendments made in the House of Lords which relate exclusively to England, or England and Wales, will be subject to a double majority vote.
This means that these amendments will have to be supported by a majority of English, or English and Welsh MPs, as well as a majority of all MPs, before they become law.
Will Welsh Scottish (and NI MPs) have an opportunity to challenge this or at any other stages stage. Will we see Bil after Bill be taken to the supreme Court for a ruling. Placing the power solely at the Speakers discretion would sureky lead to legal challenges.
Finance Bills will also go through this new procedure.
This is an true Dogs Breakfast and though I sympathies with English MPs the only real solution is either to have a separate English Parliament or significant Devolution within England .
Evel seems to have received the Tacit support of LibDem AM Peter Black you could well come to the conclusion that if Peter has no real problem with it . It is really flawed.