The Tories have fast-tracked plans for 'English votes for English laws' and Labour and the SNP are not happy about it...
The UK Government has fast-tracked plans for ‘English votes for English laws’, proposing to give MPs from English constituencies a new "veto" over laws affecting only England. With more powers set to be devolved to Scotland following last September’s referendum, the Tories finally have the justification they need to tackle the West Lothian question. The plans have been condemned by both Labour and the SNP, with Labour's Sir Gerald Kaufman going as far as saying the laws ‘sounded racist’. Such opposition is unsurprising as it would put the Tories in a much stronger position in votes on key issues such as the NHS and schools, even under a Labour-led majority likely to be reliant on Scottish MPs (be this from their own party or, more likely given the party currently has only one Scottish MP, through a coalition).
The SNP’s response is more confusing, revealing the tensions between its desire for Scottish independence and relishing the party’s newfound influence in the UK parliament. SNP MP Pete Wishart, chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, has said that, with the plans, the Conservatives were doing their best to make sure Scotland became an independent country and encourage another referendum. As this is at the core of why the SNP exists, the move to ‘English votes for English laws’ would surely benefit the Tories and SNP alike.