’English votes for English laws’ voted through House of Commons

The ‘English votes for English Laws’ (EVEL) vote has today gone through the House of Commons despite objections from all opposition parties.

The Conservatives won the vote 312 to 270 votes.

The SNP has strenuously objected to the plans saying it will bring independence closer.

The SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart condemned the plans as “stupid”, saying they would make Scottish MP’s “second class citizens”.

He warned that the mood in Scotland was darkening and that, “If this is an exercise in saving the Union, you could not have contrived of a more inept way to save the Union.”

Owen Thomson, the SNP MP for Midlothian, tweeted: “The Tories ended the Union today – not SNP & not the people of Scotland – result of this will have a huge consequence for whole UK.”

Opposition MP’s warned the move would create two classes of MP in the Commons, with Angus Robertson, Leader of the SNP in Westminster saying, “Tories just pushed through second class status for Scottish MP’s at Westminster”.

Right thing to do

However, the Conservatives claimed it is the right thing to do with Chris Grayling, Leader of the Commons saying it was “entirely reasonable” and John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham, saying it was, “the chance to rebalance our precious United Kingdom”

The move has come following Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to increase legislative powers in the Scottish Parliament. At the same time, he also pledged more power to English MP’s in matters relating to England, correcting the perceived injustice of Scottish MP’s being able to vote on legislation not relevant to Scotland.

Key Facts

  • There are 533 English MP’s in the House of Commons, out of a total of 650.
  • A new stage will be added to the process of making law that will enable English constituency MP’s to vote on issues relating to England only and will allow them to veto it before all UK MP’s vote on the final reading of the bill.
  • Whether or not a Bill effects only England will be decided by the Speaker of the House, currently John Bercow, with assistance from two senior MP’s if required.