One year of EVEL: Evaluating ‘English Votes for English Laws’ in the House of Commons

One year of EVEL: Evaluating ‘English Votes for English Laws’ in the House of Commons

By Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny

It is now just over a year since the House of Commons adopted a new set of procedural rules known as ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (or EVEL). Put simply, EVEL provides MPs representing constituencies in England (or England and Wales) with the opportunity to veto certain legislative provisions that apply only in that part of the UK. (For a reminder of how the process works, see here.) Introduced with some fanfare by the Conservative government following the 2015 election – and criticised heavily by its political opponents – these procedures have quickly faded from public view. But, one year on, what lessons can be drawn from how EVEL has operated so far?

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Could the SNP block a Labour Budget? No.

Could the SNP block a Labour Budget? No.

Please note that this blog piece was originally published on Colin Talbot’s personal blog on 20 April 2015, and is available here.

By Colin Talbot

The SNP are claiming they can ‘block Labour budgets’, ‘end austerity’ and ‘stop Trident’. Their problem however is simple – most of what they say is based on assuming that Westminster works the same way as Holyrood does for budgeting – and it doesn’t.

There are huge ‘constitutional’ and practical obstacles to implementing the sort of radical challenges to Government tax and spend decisions that the SNP and others seem to be mooting. Continue reading

The Speaker election row tells us two important things about parliament

The Speaker election row tells us two important things about parliament

On 26 March, its final sitting day, the House of Commons rejected government proposals to reform how the Speaker is elected at the start of the new parliament. Here Meg Russell reflects on what this teaches us about parliament, suggesting it holds two lessons. First, that the 2010 House of Commons was more resistant than its predecessors to government dominance; but second, that further reform is still needed to reduce that dominance.

Please note this blog piece was originally published on the Constitution Unit blog.

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