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English MPs to be able to ‘veto’ Westminster laws – the devolution ‘debate’ that never is

July 10, 2013
Reports in several newspapers this morning (links below) that English MPs are to be given the power to “veto” Westminster laws that do not relate to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The Independent says that ‘under proposals currently being finalised and expected to be announced in the autumn, English MPs would be able to reject legislation on devolved issues such as education, the NHS, transport and the environment, even if it had been passed by a majority of all MPs in the House of Commons’. Labour has denounced the scheme as ‘hare-brained’ that will radically alter balance of power. It seems the at the same time Wales will get increased powers in areas such as varying income tax rates.
The irony is that much of those so called ‘devolved issues’, especially transport, education and the environment, should be devolved even further anyway. It is a reasonable expectation that any form of devolution in Yorkshire would have responsibility for those areas. The other thing about this proposal is that it is another that can be added to the current array of existing and wished for ideas for some kind of constitutional settlement for England. And yet there is no wide debate, not least beyond Westminster and certainly not in Yorkshire. It is a debate that is desperately needed as this blog has said before. Yorkshire Day on August 1st might be an opportunity to raise this lack of debate on what is best for Yorkshire. Perhaps a letter signed by a cross section of Yorkshire folk calling for the setting up of a Constitutional Convention and published in the Yorkshire Post on 1st August might get the ball rolling.
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One Comment
  1. Richard Carter permalink

    Totally agree re Yorkshire constitutional convention letter.

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