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.
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.
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.