Lewes MP backs English votes for English laws in Commons

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield

Plans to ensure that English laws are passed by a majority of English votes in the House of Commons has been welcomed by Lewes’ MP.

Maria Caulfield welcomed the changes made by the Conservative Government to solve the West Lothian question, which came up due to the fact that Scottish MPs are allowed to vote on matters relating solely to England, but English MPs are not able to vote on issues that only have a Scottish dimension.

The new measures will mean that if the speaker of the Commons decides that a bill or part of one only applies to England, there will be an additional stage in the law-making process allowing English MPs, or English and Welsh MPs in some cases, to veto or accept the proposed legislation.

Ms Caulfield said: “I’m delighted that the 40-year-old West Lothian question has finally been answered and it has taken the courage of a majority Conservative Government to bring forward proposals which now means that English MPs will examine English only bills in committee and any changes put into a English only bill by the House of Lords, will have to be agreed by a majority of English MPs before they can proceed.”

English votes for English laws (Evel) was a manifesto commitment by the Conservative Party following the additional powers promised to the Scottish Executive after the independence referendum in 2014, which saw the majority of Scotland vote to remain within the UK but after promises were made that further powers would be devolved.

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