In the News

Does 'English votes for English Laws' improve democracy?

Jonny Clark

14th January 2016

Yesterday saw the first implementation of the 'English votes for English Laws' rule in Parliament as English and Welsh MPs voted on the parts of the Housing and Planning Bill that impacts on their constituencies.

On the face of things, this appears to be improving 'democracy' by allowing local power brokers a greater say on laws that directly impact on them, in the same way as increasing powers to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Why then do the Scottish Nationalist Party and many within the Labour Party disagree with the measure (click here for an article on the SNP anger at the move)?

Ultimately, the argument relates to the 'rights' of MPs. An MP is elected to the Parliament in London and has, until now, had the opportunity to vote on all laws presented to the legislature. Scottish MPs have now been 'demoted' and are not going to be allowed to vote on some issues reducing, in effect, their power and influence. Does this impact on the credibility of Parliament and MPs? I suspect the answer to that question may depend on which part of the country you live in!

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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