On 6 July 2015, Alistair Carmichael MP made an application for an Emergency Debate on the process the Government proposes to use to introduce procedures to provide for English votes on English laws, under Standing Order No 24

The Speaker was satisfied that it was a proper matter to be debated under Standing Order No 24, and the House gave leave for the debate to be held.  The Speaker announced that a three hour debate would be held on 7 July 2015.

Government proposals

In the Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015, the Government announced that it would introduce changes to Standing Orders so that decisions affecting England (or England and Wales) “can be taken only with the consent of the majority of Members of Parliament representing constituencies in those parts of our United Kingdom”. 

On 2 July 2015, the Government published its proposals for English votes for English laws.  Chris Grayling, the Leader of the House of Commons made a statement to the House; and the Cabinet Office published:

Westminster Hall debate – 1 July 

On Wednesday 1 July 2015 a debate titled ‘English Votes for English Laws and North Wales’ was held in Westminster Hall.

You can catch up with the debate by reading the transcript or watching on Parliamentlive.tv

The House of Commons Library produced a debate pack of relevant material in advance of this debate

How many bills only affect parts of the UK

In answer to a Parliamentary Question the Leader of the House provided information on those bills that only affected parts of the United Kingdom.

Press coverage on English votes on English laws announcement

James Cusick, “Plans to give English MPs powers on laws and taxation branded ‘racist’ by Labour MP”, Independent, 3 July 2015

Rowena Mason and Libby Brooks, “Labour and SNP attack government’s ‘English votes for English laws’ plan”, Guardian online, 2 July 2015

Steven Swinford, “SNP fury as government announces English votes for English laws”, The Telegraph, 2 July 2015

David Clegg, “EVEL row: SNP threaten UK Government with legal action over attempt to restrict voting rights of Scots MPs”, Daily Record, 6 July 2015 (subscription needed)

English MPs set to get Evel veto”, Belfast Telegraph, 2 July 2015

What is an emergency debate

An emergency debate is a debate called at short notice in the House of Commons on a matter that should have urgent consideration. An MP may apply to the Speaker for an emergency debate under the rules of Standing Order No. 24.

More detail is provided in the How Parliament works section of the Parliament website

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