Scottish MPs will still be able to vote on issues that affect only England under a Tory government, despite David Cameron’s vow to end the anomaly.I am not surprised as I felt there was no way that we could have a two-tier MP voting system in Westminster. It struck me as a bad policy announcement, but I never thought it would be reversed this side of an election! Though I was angry but not surprised with Cameron for the EU vote, I am not angry this time because it did not seem to me to be a reasonable or practical solution. Doesn't mean that others won't feel more strongly on this.
Members with constituencies north of the border would not be banned from voting at the crucial second and third readings of bills on English-only legislation.
The decision has angered some campaigners, who believe it is wrong that Scottish MPs can swing the outcome of crunch votes on issues that do not affect their constituents. The issue has been a running sore since 2004, when 40 Scottish MPs helped the government push through a highly controversial bill introducing university tuition fees.
Cameron has previously indicated that Scottish MPs would be banned from swinging legislation in such a way again.
David Mundell, the shadow Scottish secretary, revealed that they will be barred only from the committee and report stages of bills, in which the precise wording of new legislation is determined.
“Basically, what we’re saying is that, in the committee and report stage of the bill, the committee should be made up only of members from England, or England and Wales if that’s the jurisdiction. That’s the point at which amendments and changes come forward,” he said.
There are only two solutions available to this problem.
1. The EU is already pushing for this, and Labour has duly assisted. Get rid of Westminster, and devolve to the assigned Euro regions already in play. The Regional Assemblies are already in existence, and many of our public services are now regionalised along the same lines.
2. Hold a UK wide vote on devolution, and let everyone have a say on whether to continue together, or separate. If together, then the England needs its own devolution bill and its own Parliament. If separate, then Westminster should become the English Parliament for a devolved England.
There is another point to be made. WTF is David Cameron doing? He really is trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory - it's not like he was heavy on the policy in his early years as Shadow Leader, but it seems just about every Tory policy he has announced over the years is subject to revision or reversal. With so few policies for those of us who advanced the Conservative line to use*, you would absolutely think he would at least get right the one's he announced. Sort it out Dave!
Or, is it time for a "We the undersigned people on the blogosphere urge David Cameron to sort it out..." style letter?
*Admittedly for me this is something I seldom do these days.