Bob Morris, of the Constitution Unit at UCL, has provided this guest post on the latest constitutional fall-out from the Scottish referendum/devolution debate. He would welcome reactions from L&RUK readers.
Yes, from Evel (ie English Votes on English Laws), not evil as in sin.
But, surely, now there is devolution all round except in England it must be right that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs should not be able to vote in Parliament on matters affecting only England when English MPs cannot vote on issues devolved to the other assemblies. As part of the reaction to the politics of the Scottish referendum, the government is accordingly considering again how Evel might be encompassed.
England only laws are relatively rare but one example currently before Parliament – Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure – would permit the appointment of women bishops in the Church of England. There could hardly be a more obvious example of an English law since the Church of England is disestablished in Ireland and Wales and was never established in Scotland. The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament, set up under the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, in its 233rd Report on 30 September declared that the relevant Measure was ‘expedient’ and it will come before both Houses accordingly for a final vote. Continue reading