The Shambles of English Votes for English Laws

The idea of Scotland as a valued member of a Union based on consensus is in tatters. The idea of a parliament representing the whole of the United Kingdom is no longer credible. In a week in which Westminster democracy came under scrutiny as press freedom was undermined with the creation of an inner lobby  – a new crisis developed.

Scottish MP’s votes on a Bill regarding the funding of the NHS, that will have an effect on Scotland’s block grant due to the Barnett Formula were last night evening prevented from voting. As Martin Docherty-Hughes puts it:

“Today Scottish & Welsh MPs have been excluded from voting on a Bill which has direct consequences on both our nations NHS: nevertheless we sought to express our rights & the voice of our constituents.”

This is a significant moment.

As Daniel Glover, lecturer in British Politics at School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London stated:

“I believe this is the first ever division in an #EVEL legislative grand committee – and hence the first time non-English MPs have been unable to participate in a Commons vote.”

See Daniel Glover and Michael Kenny’s analysis of some of the issues with English Votes for English Laws here: ‘Answering the West Lothian Question? A Critical Assessment of ‘English Votes for English Laws’ in the UK Parliament’.

The incident was thought to be comical by the Conservatives and the Deputy Speaker could hardly contain her exasperation at these irritating elected MPs from Scotland participating at all. But it does leave EVEL looking like an unworkable shambles.

Dame Eleanor Laing as Madame Deputy Speaker confirmed in her reply to a point of order Martin Docherty-Hughes that the NHS Funding Bill does indeed have Barnet consequentials so there can be no doubt that Scottish MPs were prevented from voting on a bill which affects Scotland.

Michael Gove branded the SNP’s actions a “transparent stunt”. The BBC’s Political Correspondent Nick Eardley called it a “stooshie”. You might have seen snippets of it, but it’s worth watching the whole ‘debate’ unfold:

Comments (13)

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  1. Morag Williams says:

    Slippy slope.

  2. Chris from Cornwall says:

    This is quite appalling. I cannot blame the Scottish people for wanting Independence from the machinations of Westminster and the English MPs in particular (plus the Deputy Speaker).
    It gets worse – day by day.

  3. bringiton says:

    Johnson stated in parliament recently that they (England’s Tories) decide what happens in Scotland and also that the SNP’s days
    of running the health service in Scotland are numbered.
    When his “Love bombing” hits billboards in Scotland,we need to remind Scots of what he really thinks of us.
    A verminous race which should be exterminated (I believe he published an article containing this as editor of the Spectator).
    Put that on a billboard along with his picture.
    Even if Scottish MPs had voted on this bill it would have made no difference to the outcome.
    Within the UK state,we don’t count.

    1. Welsh Sion says:

      Quite right, bringiton.

      I enclose one (of many) references to this accursed ‘poem’.

      And before you say anything, I chose the one from the Herald so you (or whoever) could use it on fellow-Scots who have the tendency to believe the MSM … unlike our selves. 😉

  4. Richard Easson says:

    Evil is that evel does.

  5. Daniel Raphael says:

    “… prevented from voting on a bill which effects Scotland.” It should be ‘affects’ rather than ‘effects’. Grammatical point aside, worthy article and thanks for it.

  6. Julian Smith says:

    It is beginning to look as though senior Tory and Labour politicians are already regarding Scotland as a separate country. Our MPs are prevented from voting on an issue that affects us, Scottish journalists are excluded from a briefing about U.K./EU negotiations, and Lisa Nandy (again) asks why the SNP should be included on U.K. television programmes. All these examples would be perfectly understandable were Scotland an independent separate country. They make no sense for Scotland as an equal partner in the U.K.

  7. Hamish100 says:

    This is the story that should be getting discussed everywhere however looking at S Campbells Twitter account he has gone over to the dark side right enough. Hello hath no fury….

  8. Malky Mack says:

    This is just another example of the lack of democracy on these Islands.

    Why is the EU negotiating a trade deal with an non EU country that is clearly not democratic? We (including the Scottish government) should be reminding the EU that they should not be dealing with a state that denies democracy. The EU if it stands by its democratic principles should be requiring the UK govt to stop blocking democracy and allow the Scottish people the ability to ask themselves a question as per the 4 democratic mandates the Scottish Government now hold.

    The EU must make it conditional on any trade deal that the UK respects democracy or it’s no deal. The EU have nothing to lose as Johnson has clearly stated several times that he wants an Australia type deal which is just another name for no deal.

    Come on EU stand up for democracy and call this undemocratic dictatorship out now! You have nothing to lose and a whole new member in Scotland to gain. Speak up and help us out now!

  9. Josef O Luain says:

    How long before the SNP people just stop showing-up for work on a Monday morning? The gravity defying “penny” must surely drop at some point.

    1. Rob McClair says:

      Dearie me.
      If you tried to make the daftest comment EVER, on these threads, then very well done….
      You’ve won,….and in an often crowded field, ….and by some considerable distance !
      If however, you were trying to be serious….can I suggest that you arrange for the medical authorities to check you for Alzheimers?
      Failing that…..get back out and play on the swings….we’ll give you a yell when your rusks are ready !

  10. JockEasy says:

    As if Westminsters standing amongst decent , normal, and democratic people, wasn’t already derisory, it is with nothing short of HORROR that ….as I am regularly behind the game…I have just begun to understand the nature of the utterly APPALLING events around the most shocking catalogue of crimes being attributed to ( spit) SIR Cyril Smith…may he rot in hell ( should there in the event be one).
    That said…it quite unbelievably gets WORSE….now the the disgusting and probably criminal role re this horror has been made public re the combination of actions, and inactions, in respect of ( spit again) Sir David Steele…hereinfter known as Lord 4RSEHOLE ….who both turned the telescope to the blind eye for the infliction of such evil on vulnerable souls in our communities….but now freely ADMITS HE DID SO FOR POLITICAL gain.
    Now, criminal acts by leading politicians and others in seats of power are hardly new…and are not likely to end soon….but the very fact that a ‘ squeaky clean’ politician such as that ammoral..nay…evil cretin who for many years was the political voice and representative of thousands of our fellow scottish citizens could be so bold as to hide such a man, makes him no better than the disgusting perpetrator himself.
    Add to that, the fact that this b4stard knowingly avoided saying a clear ‘ sorry’ to all the parties , right down to every elector, can lead only to revulsion by any decent citizen.
    I can do no more than call this evil b4stard out for his attitude, allegedly done for reasons of ‘ political gain’ , but i si erely trust that his remaining days are such that he hide…unless he can be prosecuted…and never show his damnable face ever again.
    I SO despise this man !…may he rot in hell ( should there be one !)

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