One of John’s Election Pledges to his electorate, “English votes for English laws”, has been approved by the House of Commons. This new legislation gives English and Welsh MPs a fairer say over laws that affect only their constituencies and are on matters which have been devolved.
Back in May, just before the election, John told voters: “Pretty much everyone in England agrees it isn’t fair that Scottish and Welsh MPs can decide what happens in English schools and healthcare, but English MPs can’t do the same in return (as these things – plus a fair few others – are now decided in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly).”
“If we left these tensions to fester they could, over the long term, break the United Kingdom apart. No doubt Scottish Nationalists like Nicola Sturgeon and Alec Salmond would be over the moon, but I think we’d all be economically and culturally poorer if it did, so it’s about time we did something about it.”
This new Bill changes the way that the House of Commons considers legislation. MPs with constituencies in England (and, where relevant, England and Wales) will now be asked to give their consent to legislation that only affects England (or England and Wales) for matters that are devolved elsewhere in the UK.
These changes will strengthen England’s voice, just as devolution has strengthened the voices of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the Union. The new procedure means that the legislative process is fairer for everyone while still allowing MPs from across the UK to amend and vote on all legislation, as they can now.
You can find more information on “English Votes for English Laws” here.