Henry Smith MP has welcomed a vote in Parliament last week (Thursday, 22nd October) where the House of Commons gave its support for the introduction of English votes for English laws.
“As patron of the Fair Votes for All campaign in the previous parliament I was delighted to vote for this constitutional fairness in the House of Commons.
“This is an arrangement that will ensure that England has a say in matters over laws which apply to English constituencies in the UK only.
“After the devolution of the 1990s gave us the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, two decades later it is only right that England should make decisions solely for itself.”
English votes for English laws will create fairer constitutional arrangements and ensure the English have more of a voice over matters that only affect them.
The proposals are fair and balanced and are being introduced in a considered way, and will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure the process is working effectively.
The procedure will see English, or sometimes English and Welsh, MPs being asked for their consent to the provisions which meet this test. This will take place in a new stage of Parliamentary consideration called the ‘Legislative Grand Committee’, which will let them debate the proposals and secure their consent to them.
All Members of Parliament will continue to debate, and vote, on legislation at its Second Reading, Third Reading and Report stage.
This will ensure new laws are made with the agreement of the whole House of Commons, but that English (and Welsh) laws will be made with the consent of the elected MPs who represent those parts of the UK.
The updated proposals from the Government are designed to result in a fair settlement which ensures MPs from across the United Kingdom continue to have a role in making legislation, while ensuring English matters are approved by a majority of English MPs.