The proposed system will see the Speaker certifying bills or parts of bills that “relate exclusively” to England (or England and Wales) and where the equivalent legislative competence has been devolved to Edinburgh and Belfast. These bills, clauses or schedules will then have to receive the explicit consent of English (or English and Welsh) MPs in a new Legislative Grand Committee, and wholly English bills will also be scrutinised and amended in an England-only bill committee. England-only legislation introduced by the Government (though not by private members) will therefore require a “double majority” – among English MPs and across the House as a whole. Similar rules will apply to secondary legislation, and to votes on tax and spending decisions where equivalent powers have been devolved (such as income tax rates and the Revenue Support Grant to local government). As the process of devolution to the three devolved capitals continues, the list of issues subject to the new rules will grow correspondingly longer. The decision to introduce EVEL via standing orders rather than legislation reflects a desire to avoid judicial reviews of internal parliamentary matters. But as a result there will be far less opportunity for scrutiny than an Act of […]

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