Should only English MPs vote on English laws?

09:08 24 April 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children

Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

And in a bid to win Ukip supporters back his party, he’s warning that a Labour government backed by the Scottish National Party would result in “a return to uncontrolled immigration”.

The English manifesto sets out a timetable for the implementation of Conservative plans for English votes for English laws in the House of Commons and a promise to extend it to financial issues.

From the Budget expected in March, whenever taxes have been devolved to Scotland, Conservative plans would require the consent of English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs to set the level in those parts of the United Kingdom.

Mr Cameron is expected to say: “Soon, the Scottish Parliament will be voting to set its own levels of income tax - and rightly so - but that has clear implications. English MPs will be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh while Scottish MPs are able to vote on the tax you pay in Birmingham or Canterbury or Leeds. It is simply unfair. And with English votes for English laws we will put it right.”

Turning his fire on Labour over immigration in an article for the Daily Mail, Mr Cameron said: “The only way Ed Miliband can get into Downing Street is if he is propped up by the SNP - and they have made clear that they want higher levels of immigration. It’s clear: Ed Miliband in Downing Street would increase immigration, not reduce it.

“And if you’re someone considering voting Ukip because you want a referendum on Europe and controlled immigration, remember that a vote for Ukip makes it harder for Conservatives to win - and much more likely for Ed Miliband and the SNP to get into government. Then you will get no referendum, and a return to uncontrolled immigration.”

15 comments

  • Perhaps the English should decide as to whether other counties in the UK pay their own way as in Prescription charges and hospital parking etc. There's a lot the English have to do that others dont, we are not however allowed to call ourselves English so this story is a little ironic.

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    a friend

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

  • @Andy - I find myself agreeing with you here, a United Kingdom is by far my preference as well. The point I was trying to make with the split authority is that is actually what happens in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The respective MP's deal with UK matters and the assembly members deal with devolved matters. The problem is the headlines are simplistic but the story on the ground is far more complex. In many respects the devolved authorities are like souped up county councils, dealing with matters directly relating to the people within their boundary. Bear in mind, in Scotland, for example, there are no county councils just unitary authorities. So there are equivalents to Norwich City, Broadland and South Norfolk etc.. but no Norfolk County Council. For me the frustrating thing about this issue is it wasn't an issue of any substance until the 90's really as before then Scotland had a relatively even split of MP's, roughly a 60 to 40 split in labours favour compared to the conservatives and the libdems. At that point no one was bothered about it, it's only really become an issue since the balance tipped firstly in labours favour and now potentially to the snp as people can more easily imagine them voting as a single block. We would do well to remember that there are as many conservatively minded Scottish people in the countryside of Scotland as there are in the home counties, it's just not portrayed that way in the media as it makes the headline writing a little bit harder.

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    rushallchap

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Rushallchap, at no point did I suggest that MPs authority(?) should be split as you suggest. That is what we have local government for but even here Labour is attempting to propose Regional Assemblies despite them having been rejected the only time it has been put to a vote. That would be wrong for all the reasons you suggest. It is up to Parliament to decide national priorities - not a perfect system but it generally seems to have worked so far. An English Parliament may well come into being as a natural consequence as a result of Labour's devolution plan which are now evolving into the inevitable. Personally I would have preferred a United Kingdom but nationalism seems to have taken over and that genii can not be put back into the bottle now.

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    andy

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Wouldn't an English Assembly be a better idea? Equivalent to the Welsh and Scottish and Irish Assemblies, voting on issues devolved to those "regions" or nations (please excuse the wording - difficult to know what is acceptable nowadays). Westminster would then be a federal government covering all the nations of the UK in matters such as defence. Obviously you could take it to the extreme, as per rushallchap's suggestion that every area of the UK would want it's own assembly (West Country vs South East vs East Anglia, etc), but for now an English Assembly would balance the perceived imbalance in democracy.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Err are we missing something here? Don't forget that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish mp's at Westminster don't have any say on the matters that have been devolved their respective countries. Those decision are taken by smp's and assembly members for Wales and Northern Ireland. So it's nothing like 'foreign' mp's voting on English matters. But the weather is nice outside and it's the weekend in a few hours so i'll leave it to you lot to sort out amongst yourselves!

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    rushallchap

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • @andy, should mp's from the north of England be allowed to vote on matters of flood defence in East Anglia? should mp's from rural constituencies be allowed to vote on matters relating to cities? That is the logical conclusion of your argument which would lead to the balkanisation of the UK. Each constituency in the UK parliament has an equal voice and that is how it should be. If you want an English assembly similar to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish then that's a different matter, and not necessarily a bad idea. But, in my opinion, you need to be careful here because the problem again is trying to persuade the Cornishman that he has enough in common with the Mancunian. Or more pressingly stopping Greater London setting up on their own and keeping all the wealth they generate and not sharing it with the rest of England.

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    rushallchap

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • It`s a question that is unarguable. You may as well allow MPs from a foreign parliament to vote on English only matters. Miliband knows he is on a losing wicket with this one which is why, before the election, he tried to kick it into the long grass. Democracy for the Scots seems to work only one way.

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    BG

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Labour is now the only party which will secure the union and deserves the support of all unionists,north and south of the border. The Conservatives are now the English Nationalist Party in favour of English separatism despite the fact that Cameron's old Cambridge tutor has warned him about the absurdity of bifurcated government.Only Labour is standing up to those who threaten the union,the SNP and the Tories.

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    Peter Watson

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • Money generated in Scotland has been spent in England for decades.....North Sea oil helped keep the English economy afloat for years.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • It would be an affront to democracy if Scottish MPs of whatever party is able to vote on English matters when English MPs have no say in Scottish matters. How can that be fair. The matter of PR is a red herring. People voted on it and it was rejected. What is relevant is that as a result of that vote the childish Clegg then threw his toys out of the pram and stopped the boundary changes proposed by the independent Boundary Commission. This was unprecedented and a further affront to democracy and don't forget he had originally said he would support it!

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    andy

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • I would like Alec Salmond to decide how money generated in England should be spent.

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    Steely Dan

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • there you go again, milecross, rewriting history. Cameron didn't prevent PR. There was a UK-wide referendum on bringing in an Alternative Vote system in 2011. The people rejected it 67.9% No, 32.1% Yes. The fact that the kippers supported AV definitely decided me to vote No.

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    Red Steepler

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • @milecross - and just to be the clear if the snp support labour it would be the 'Scots' supporting them it will be the snp. The snp form the majority government in holyrood but they don't represent all Scots. But you don't really worry about the words that you are using do you? Mainly because doesn't suit your polarised view of the world. It's the sort of language and view that is designed to divide people into little camps that you can hate and point at, but it's pathetic play ground name calling that won't work.

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    rushallchap

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • If the Westminster elite had want English votes for English mps they shouldn't have all run around promoting the union during the Scottish independence referendum. This is a united kingdom and each constituency has an equal right to equal representation. This just really demonstrates how politicians will say anything to get what they want and then ignore it once they achieve the power they desire. Daft idea and one that smacks of desperation and a pandering to right wing extremists. @milecross - is that last bit what the bnp website is telling you to say today? You were found out yesterday peddling the bnp line, you have no credibility.

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    rushallchap

    Friday, April 24, 2015

  • The greatest danger from Scottish independence is that it makes London even more powerful for the rest of us. London's problems already dominate decisions on the economy, education and housing. How many times have we seen a policy implemented and scratched our heads as it does not work here and it is clear that it is solving a purely London based problem. The next step is for tax raised by London workers to be kept in London and spent on education and elderly care there even though the majority these workers were educated elsewhere and will retire elsewhere. Their working tax should cover their whole life. If we keep up the pretence of being a united country then we need to act like it otherwise we need regional government

    Report this comment

    JohnnyH

    Friday, April 24, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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