EVEL

The growing debate over English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) has so far focused on the difficulties facing the government as it seeks to design and implement a complicated, and potentially incendiary, set of changes to the procedures of the Commons. Faced by a united front from the opposition parties at Westminster, as well as disquiet from within its own ranks, Chris Grayling has been forced into delays both on the vote to change Standing Orders and, as many have portrayed it, the related issue of fox hunting.
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The government’s detailed proposals for introducing English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) into the House of Commons are a significant moment in our constitutional history, say Michael Kenny and Daniel Gover, but there is good reason to think that EVEL is unlikely to represent a sufficient answer to the English question.
 
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The government's announcement of its much anticipated proposals for the introduction of ‘English votes for English laws’ in the House of Commons, involves changes to the rules for scrutinising individual Bills, or clauses within them, that affect England, or England and Wales only. The reforms are proposed as an answer to the West Lothian question – the situation whereby MPs from the devolved territories can vote on matters that affect England only, such as Education, but English MPs cannot reciprocate on issues that are devolved. 
 
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The introduction of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) faces a problem, says Michael Keating, in that only a minority of English voters will ever have supported the laws in question. 
 
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Charlie Jeffery looks at the Conservatives conversion to EVEL and asks if it reflects genuine concerns about how England is governed or short-term tactical opportunism?

So now we have it confirmed. David Cameron and William Hague last Friday pledged the introduction of English Votes on English Laws (EVEL) within 100 days should the Conservatives win the general election. They did so to boot while launching a special election manifesto for English voters only, another first in this extraordinary election campaign.

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The election campaign has brought the issue of English attitudes towards their neighbours and the Union into sharp relief, with UKIP making much of socially conservative values. However, explains Michael Kenny, the reality is rather more complex.
 
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