England

Today’s announcement by William Hague of a range of options for English Votes for English Laws should be seen as the start of a wider process, says Charlie Jeffery. That process is likely to include, at least, a clearer separation of England and Wales as jurisdictions and reform of how Westminster and Whitehall – not to mention the electorate – think about the territories of the UK.

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The Labour Party last week issued a pre-emptive strike on today’s proposals from the government on devolution to England. Charlie Jeffery, a co-author of the Future of England Study and former member of the MacKay Commission, suggests that it may be a case of ‘too little, too soon’ if they allow the Conservatives to take ownership of the issue.

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Study: English Voters Support EVEL

Research shows that English voters prefer the option of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL), widely believed to be the frontrunner in the government’s consideration of the West Lothian Question. Forty percent1 of English voters opted for giving English MPs an exclusive say at Westminster over legislation that applies solely to their constituents – over twice the level of support for the next nearest options, an English Parliament (16%) or the status quo (18%).

The implications of the Smith Commission's report for the rest of the UK were highlighted both by the Prime Minister and leaders of English local government within a few hours of its publication. Richard Wyn Jones suggests that Smith may well have serious implications on the other side of the Tweed - and the Severn.

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Latest blogs

  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

  • 15th May 2018

    On 8 May the UK’s House of Lords passed an amendment to require the House of Commons to vote on remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA), the possibility of Britain adopting the so-called ‘Norway model’ is back on the agenda of British politics. Here the authors of Squaring the Circle on Brexit: Could the Norway Model Work?, John Erik Fossum and Hans Petter Graver, give some background to Norway’s relationship with the European Union and reveal the truth behind some common myths about the Norway model.

  • 4th May 2018

    The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.

  • 3rd May 2018

    Amendments to controversial Clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill were agreed in the House of Lords yesterday evening, following a deal between the UK and Welsh governments last week. Jack Sheldon and Mike Kenny explain the significance of this agreement for the UK as a whole and outline a number of unresolved issues it raises.

  • 2nd May 2018

    The hesitant progress of Brexit legislation through Westminster has provided parliament with an opportunity to show its teeth and, says Tobias Lock, it demonstrates that the legislature has bite as well as bark.

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