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by Tom Freeman
15 July 2015
English votes for English laws plan debated

English votes for English laws plan debated

The UK Government’s proposal to give English MPs a veto over issues which do not affect devolved nations is due to be debated.

In what is expected to be a tense debate in the Commons, the Government will lay out its English votes for English laws (EVEL) plan, which takes the form of changes to the Parliament’s standing orders.

The details were published yesterday.

Chris Grayling had hoped to force through major changes but an emergency debate last week revealed significant concerns about the plan from his own benches, as well as opposition from Labour and the SNP.

The debate will also be overshadowed by fox hunting, after a pledge by the SNP to test the Conservatives’ majority in a vote affecting England and Wales yesterday forced the Government to delay the plans.

Conservative MP Iain Stewart, parliamentary private secretary to the Scottish Secretary David Mundell, told BBC radio this morning the SNP were playing games with EVEL.

“I think they want to rile the English into coming forward with even more radical reforms and I'm just not rising to that bait.

"What we're proposing is a very modest, fair, workable solution to address the West Lothian question, which has been kicking around for four decades," he said.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said the UK Government was retreating on the plans. Speaking following their publication yesterday he said:

“The UK Government published a list of 20 Bills passed in the last parliament which they said didn't apply to Scotland - but after careful analysis First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pointed out that 13 of them were relevant to Scotland.

“Therefore, what needs to happen now is the UK Government should agree to the First Minister's request for talks about English Votes for English Laws, on the basis of mutual respect,” he said.

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