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by Tom Freeman
02 July 2015
EVEL plans published

EVEL plans published

English MPs will gain a veto over measures which only affect their constituencies under new proposed changes to the House of Commons rules published today.

Under the ‘English votes for English laws’ plan every MP will continue to have a vote on every bill, but English MPs will have a veto over elements which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh or Northern Ireland Assemblies.

The plan is listed as ‘amended standing orders’ rather than legislation, meaning there will be only one day's debate and the speaker will have to decide which bills it will apply to.


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Chris Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons, said: “It’s really important everyone feels our constitutional arrangements are fair, so this one nation government will end the anomaly that a majority of English MPs can be outvoted on matters which are devolved elsewhere.

“At a time when we’re giving more power to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, it’s right the English should have a veto over things that only affect their constituents,” he said.

Labour’s Shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle said the plans should have been approved by all parties, and risked creating two classes of MPs.

She accused Grayling of “playing with fire” and the plan was “a cynical attempt by a government with a majority of 12 to manufacture itself a very much larger one".

The SNP had called for the plans to be introduced in legislation so they could be scrutinised by all MPs. Pete Wishart MP described the new plan as “unworkable garbage” and said it could bring about Scottish independence.

Former Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said the standing orders were a “challenge to the constitutional integrity of the UK”.

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