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On 22 October 2015, the House of Commons agreed to changes to its Standing Orders to allow members from England or England and Wales to give their consent to legislation that affected only England, or England and Wales, and that was within devolved legislative competence. The procedures apply to Government bills and to statutory instruments. The procedures are known as “English Votes for English Laws” (EVEL).

The English votes for English laws process is described in the MPs’ Guide to Procedure.

Since April 2020, when the House changed some of the rules relating to proceedings in the Chamber because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Standing Orders relating to EVEL have not had effect.

On 8 July 2021, Michael Gove, the Minister of the Cabinet Office, told the House that “the Government believe that it has not served our Parliament well and that removing it would simplify the legislative process”. And on 12 July 2021, he issued a written statement describing the reasons for the introduction of EVEL and confirming the Government’s intention that the House should decide whether the procedure should be removed from the legislative process.

The motion to rescind the Standing Orders has been brought forward by the Government.

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