11th Dec, 2016

MPs support change over English laws

Joshua Godfrey 2nd Nov, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

EVESHAM and Pershore MP’s have welcomed a move to give English MPs a greater say over laws affecting the country by calling it ‘common sense.’

MPs backed the so-called ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (EVEL) by 312 to 270 votes in the House of Commons last Thursday (October 22).

Both Nigel Huddleston and Harriett Baldwin supported the proposals and told the Observer the decision was an important step in solving an issue that had been bothering MPs from England for many decades.

The new law effectively gives English MPs a veto over legislation that only affects England, but MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will still be able to vote on a bill’s final reading.

Mrs Baldwin said: “I took up this important issue five years ago as I felt it was something that would become increasingly important in the last Parliament and as Conservatives we had a manifesto commitment to sort this perennial problem.”

“I am delighted that the House of Commons voted to support yesterday’s measure and this brings an end to five years of hard work to solve this thorny constitutional issue.

“The English votes debate had been a regular discussion point on the doorstep and I am glad that we are now working towards a satisfactory conclusion to a dilemma that has troubled MPs for more than 100 years.”

Mr Huddleston said: “The English Votes for English Laws legislation was just common sense. It means that English MPs can have a veto over legislation only impacting England.

“The legislation will allow for English or English and Welsh only matters to be discussed and voted on in a committee stage consisting of only English or English and Welsh MPs before going to a full vote of the House of Commons.

“The alternatives were an English parliament which I believe would be costly and we don’t really need and extra layer of government – or to ban Scottish MPs from voting in parliament on certain matters.

“But that would leave them feeling like second class MPs, so the additional committee stage proposal seems like a reasonable compromise.”

“These reforms will fix an imbalance that has been there since powers started being devolved to other Parliaments and is long overdue,” he added.