A system giving English MPs a veto over laws only affecting England has “not served our Parliament well” and will be removed, Michael Gove has said.
The Cabinet Office minister confirmed that the Government wants to scrap English votes for English laws (Evel) and will bring forward a motion, which will be considered at Westminster on July 13.
Evel was introduced in 2015 as a new stage for laws passing through Parliament.
It allowed English, or English and Welsh, MPs to accept or veto legislation only affecting their constituents before it passed to third reading, its final Commons stage.
It was argued that Evel addressed the so-called “West Lothian Question” – in which English MPs could not vote on matters devolved to other parts of the UK, but Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs could vote in Westminster on England-only matters.
But the Government faced claims at the time from Labour that it was trying to “manufacture” a larger majority by using “procedural trickery”, while the SNP also vehemently opposed the system.
Speaking at Cabinet Office questions, Gove told MPs: “My department, along with the Leader of the House, have been reviewing the English votes for English laws procedure.
“The procedure has been suspended since April 2020 and, having reflected on the procedure, the Government believes it has not served our Parliament well and that removing it would simplify the legislative process.
“It’s a fundamental principle that all constituent parts of the United Kingdom should be equally represented in Parliament.
“Any changes of course would be for the House to decide and we’ll bring forward a motion in due course.”
As MPs acknowledged England’s march to the Euro 2020 final, SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart said: “There’s one place where there’s been a massive defeat – and that is the Government and its English votes for English laws procedure.
“We will finally bury this appalling, time-wasting mess next week.”
Wishart suggested it had created a “quasi-English parliament squat” in the UK Parliament.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “I am delighted to suggest it’s a victory for the SNP, but it’s also a victory for people of my way of thinking about our constitution, and this is important because, within this House, we are the Parliament of the whole of the United Kingdom.”
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