Hours after the Scottish independence referendum results were in, David Cameron announced that any further devolution to Scotland would be linked to a resolution of the ‘West Lothian question’, whereby Scottish MPs are able to vote for legislation in Westminster that affects England but not their own constituencies.
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.