Sunday, 25 October 2015

Rational Federal Constitution for the United Kingdom or a fathomless hokey cokey: EVEL

How to solve the West Lothian question?

Well now we have the answer:

Under the new procedures the Commons Speaker will be required to ‘certify’ bills, or clauses within them, that meet two criteria: first, they relate only to England (or England and Wales); and second, comparable policy decisions are devolved elsewhere in the UK. On such legislation, MPs representing English (or English and Welsh) constituencies will have the opportunity to give their ‘consent’ to the provisions, through two new mechanisms: first, a Legislative Grand Committee of English (or English and Welsh) MPs will vote on a ‘consent motion’ prior to the bill’s third reading; and second, a ‘double-majority’ voting system will apply when MPs consider Lords amendments (which will also apply on secondary legislation). The effect of these reforms is a ‘double veto’: to pass, certified legislation will require the support both of UK-wide MPs and those representing English (and/or English and Welsh) constituencies. Detailed discussion of the government’s original proposals can be found here. These changes will come into effect immediately, and will affect the passage of a number of bills, even though there is no immediate threat of a ‘West Lothian’ situation in the House of Commons.

I don't quite follow the double veto system.  If you are following the logic, then surely Scots and NI MPs just shouldn't vote on these English/Welsh Bills/motions at all.  No wait, its not an English/Welsh Parliament is it, it is the UK Parliament and it can't pass laws unless a majority of English, Welsh, Scots, and NI MPs have voted in favour of the measure?  Hence the double in the double veto......clear?  As mud?

Come on let's have a constitutional convention to sort it all out?

1 comment: