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.


  1. you're right glyn - this bill is a 'dogs breakfast' - indeed it might turn out that it's unworkable in practice! that said the principle behind it is surely not something supporters of welsh devolution should have a problem with?

    none of us should defend the current status quo, whereby mps in wales can vote on health and education matters in england, but mps in england cannot vote on health and education matters in wales. indeed the more powers we get in wales the fewer mps wales should have at westminister

  2. Another nail in the dying UK's coffin.

    By and large the SNP never voted on English matters unless there was a financial impact on Scotland, which I thought right. Much though I love foxes and detest the killing of them by bloody-thirsty Tory nob weirdos, I thought the SNP had crossed a line voting this down. A hard decision, I'll grant you, but it was constitutionally wrong, if morally right.

    Labour frequently did vote of English matters...and that was wrong. But Labour needed Scottish votes to to get it's policies through on occasions. Blair even had a Scot as Home Secretary, a post with almost no duties in Scotland. He proposed laws that had no impact at all on Scotland and came home on a Friday to face constituents who had no interest in what he was doing. That was wrong.

    But there are bigger consequences than mr Speaker deciding whether Scotland can have a say in a particular bill.

    Could we have a Scottish Prime Minister, who wouldn't be allowed to vote on his own legislation? Could we have a Scottish Chancellor, or Home Secretary?

    And what of Scottish peers?

    They have changed the constitution overnight. I don't know if UK Labour will ever recover from Brown, Miliband and Corbyn, but I'm pretty sure that they are not gone forever from Scotland.

    If they shape up, get rid of their poor leadership and eventually manage to form another government, sometime in the future and rely on Scottish or Welsh MPs for their majority, what will happen when they come to an English only bill, when the Tories have a majority in England? The opposition will become the government.

    The Tories have just stuffed Gordon Brown and Labour for saving the face of Mr Cameron when he thought he was going to lose Scotland. And as Brown said, the vow he guaranteed hasn't been delivered.

    Suckers, the lot of them.

    I imagine that the same goes for Wales and Northern Ireland in the different things that are devolved to these governments.

  3. In recent years we have observed a trend in Welsh local government that has seen unelected officers effectively take control of local authorities.

    This is invariably achieved with the connivance of a small group of councillors who commit their loyalty to senior officers rather than to the council to which they were elected and those living within the local authority area.