English votes

Some are asking for my views on how to deliver justice to England. I set these out earlier this week, and my views have not changed.

As I understand the William Hague proposals England will now decide her own spending within English agreed totals and will decide her own tax rates where Scotland has devolved power. That is progress, and I look forward to seeing the detail of how and when this will happen.

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72 Comments

  1. DaveM
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    If EVEL/I/N is the best we can hope for at the present time, you HAVE to push for Option 1. Anything less than that is a con to the English people. There should be NO Scottish involvement whatsoever at ANY stage of ANY bill affecting England only.

    (Left off Wales to simplify the comment.)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Indeed, but if the Tories are to have any chance at all of stopping Miliband the rights of the English need to become a major issue for voters. The Tories are essentially only an English party now. Along with smaller government, far less EU, cheaper non greencrap energy and lower & far simpler taxes.

      Can the Tory powers that be not see this?

      It is progress just about, but very little progress indeed.

      • Chris S
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Cameron and Co see it all right, the trouble is they simply don’t believe in England as a Country.

        They see our future in the EU and the ultimate goal of the EU is divide-and-rule regionalisation specifically designed to end the Nation State and promote Brussels to be the capital of a new country called Europa or something equally daft.

        Germany already has its Lande and Scotland would be a region on its own. Countries like England and France will be divided up and allowed only ineffective regional “government” subservient to Brussels ( or maybe Strasburg as a sop to bring the French on board ).

        We are in desperate need another Conservative leader of the stature of Margaret Thatcher.

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately not. It’s all about winning votes in Scotland for deluded Cameron and to hell with us English!

        • Hope
          Posted February 5, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          It strikes me Cameron has ratted already on what he promised English voters. Is this influenced by the EU? Listening to Rifkin it seems to me it is.

    • keviano
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      I doubt if the soon to be ex-MP Hague could name a single Bill presented in the Commons that is exclusively “English” , with no impact on the devolved legislatures.
      The simplistic and populist EVEL proposals – if successful, will shoe-in Scottish independence faster than the 4 year referendum campaign.

  2. agricola
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Wait and see is not a strategy. After the duplicity of the European Arrest Warrant and now English votes for English laws, can anyone, however loyal to the Tory party, ever believe in a referendum after renegotiation that has already been refused. All three cases have been handled with stirring words, a tossing of smoke grenades, and movement to an entirely new position not reflected in the stirring words. All three have your leaders real attitude written in full all over them.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right. The Tory Party has once again let the English people down. Mr Hague has complicated something that had a simple solution but proposes a dogs dinner. Scottish MPs don’t need any say or involvement in English only matters, the same as English MP’s on devolved matters. Fullstop.
      Only the legacy parties can keep doing the same things and expecting the public to believe them. Their credibility is totally shot. Renegotiate what exactly? Cameron hasn’t said and won’t say as he has just kicked the can down the road. There is only one party that will stand up for Britain and the English and the public now know it!

  3. Andyvan
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    In reality England would have been far btter off if Scotland had voted for independence, We would save large amounts of subsidy, could have easily left the EU as the United Kingdom would no longer be the same country that joined and Labour would never again have enough votes to win an election. A lost opportunity.

    • Chris S
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right !

    • libertarian
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right Andyvan

      We need to now press for full Independence for England.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Will look forward to your comments after you have had time to digest the proposals.

    From out here, and from what we are spoon fed, it looks like the usual Politicians complicated dogs dinner of a proposal, that will satisfy nobody, least of all the English.

    Why not a simple proposal that it should be the same devolution rule and powers for all Countries in the UK.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Dog’s breakfast please alan

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The English need to be satisfied for the Tories to have any chance. More likely it will be another Labour stitch up.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        @LL; “More likely it will be another Labour stitch up”

        Indeed that is probably what we will end up with after May, what with so many ex-Tory votes even more likely heading towards UKIP…

        I feel quite sorry for people like our host, even more so those Conservative MPs in marginal seats, looks like some at least will be heading out to the election ‘stumps’ in April only to find that they have been supplied with broken bats by the team captain! 🙁

      • JoolsB
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        After this latest dog’s dinner of a proposal, it would seem Labour are not the only ones stitching England up!

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    David Cameron speaking at the Conservative Party conference, 1st October 2014:

    “But here’s my vow to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    I know the system is unfair.
    I know that you are asking: if Scotland can vote separately on things like tax, spending and welfare….
    ….why can’t England, Wales and Northern Ireland do the same?
    I know you want this answered.
    So this is my vow: English votes for English laws – the Conservatives will deliver it.”

    Your assessment of yesterday’s announcement is, unsurpisingly, to support your party and its leader even though they have not offered your views. Many will see it as yet another of cast iron Dave’s broken promises.

    • JoolsB
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Cameron’s pending tray:-

      Vow to Scotland – urgent and imperative it goes ahead asap
      Vow to England – not important – file under long grass

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It isn’t nearly strong enough. England should control it’s own policies in the same way the Scots control theirs.
    There is only one truly equal, fair and democratic answer. A parliament for England.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      Old Albion ,

      The mistake was letting the devolution juggernaut get rolling .

      I fear that fueling it with demands for English devolution and ongoing financial assistance to Scotland is just compounding that initial mistake .

      Nothing good will come out of devolution , not even devolution for England .

      David Cameron has cemented his place in history as the P.M. on whose watch The Union fell apart .

  7. M Davis
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Sounds like cowardice to me, as per usual. Sounds like a dogs’ dinner that will not satisfy the English Tory/ex Tory voter.

  8. ChrisS
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    It must be intensely disappointing to see your own party leader fail to deliver what he promised so publicly just four months ago.

    I have expressed my utter disgust in the previous thread on the same subject so there is little point in repeating it. However with trust in politicians at an all time low, it was a serious error to raise expectations and then backtrack in this way. After all, the McKay Commission report had already been published for several months so Hague and Cameron must have already known that they were not going to offer full EVELs.

    It just confirms everything that UKIP supporters frequently say about the PM.

    Turning to what is on offer it appears to have three fundamental flaws :

    First and foremost it continues the practice of English voters and MPs being second class citizens without the means to determine alone many aspects of the governance of their country without the interference of others they have not had a hand in electing. As if having the EU interfering isn’t bad enough………

    Secondly, in quite likely circumstances, given current electoral arithmetic, the actual proposal denies English Members the ability to propose legislation for our Country on matters that are devolved to Scotland without the agreement of a UK Labour government that is only in power because of its Scottish members and the SNP.

    thirdly, I f a minority Conservative Government holding power in the UK proposes legislation for England that a majority of English Members want, Labour, supported by its MPs from the other home Nations and the SNP, might well have the ability to veto that legislation.

    This is a dogs dinner of a proposal. The acid test is that, had exactly the same proposal been offered to Scotland instead of Devolution, it would have been rejected out of hand.

    Why should something that would in no way be considered good enough for the Scots be foisted on England ?

    • Jerry
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      @ChrisS; “The acid test is that, had exactly the same proposal been offered to Scotland instead of Devolution, it would have been rejected out of hand.”

      The SNP wouldn’t even accept this dogs breakfast of a ‘solution’ if it was offered instead of the DevoMax they have been offered by that eleventh hour tri-party pre referendum proclamation never mind their original devolution settlement.

      Reply You complain that I have not posted another contribution from you on this same topic. I cannot open the link you gave in it, so have given up and removed it. Please do not put in links I cannot check or do not work. It would also help if you sent in your best answer to any given post, not several.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        @JR reply; “It would also help if you sent in your best answer to any given post, not several.”

        I’m totally misidentified by that, are you asking us to only comment on your own diary entry and not to post replies to (enter into debate with) what others say, and to keep such comments on-topic with regards to your diary entries subject? Genuine question!

        Reply No, it does not include replying to new points.

    • matthu
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

      It must be intensely disappointing to see your own party leader fail to deliver what he promised so publicly just four months ago.

      No, invigorating actually! To witness at first hand Mr Cameron so deftly break yet another promise! How does he manage it – and with such aplomb?

      He is truly the leader we all need to get us out of this referendum trap intact!

      /sarc

  9. Tad Davison
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I’ll be watching closely too John. Your proposals were very workable and ticked all the boxes, but after listening to Rifkind, I am deeply suspicious and I doubt if the Tories will even get close to the equitable solution the British people want and deserve. We get nothing but chicanery from Cameron and Co. and people will remember that come the General Election.

    Tad

  10. Bert Young
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I thought your follow up response to the EVEL debate yesterday was very significant . As it is proposed the Scots will be able to “block” legislation and be in a position to “blackmail”. “Strengthening” the English position is putting it lightly ; a more water tight arrangement must be met and English Votes on English Laws has to be secured . Pussyfooting it around with the Scots at this stage is the worse place to be ; we have to make it loud and clear that they have their controls and we must have ours .

  11. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    As far as I can see the powers granted to English MPs under the proposed scheme would be purely negative – they could block bills but not bring forward their own bills. As an example, imagine there is a Labour/SNP coalition government but a majority of Conservative MPs in England. Even if that English majority wanted to bring back grammar schools in England there would be no means for them to do it because the national government would never bring forward such a bill. However, if there were a Conservative UK government the Scottish parliament would be able to vote through whatever school system they wanted even if it did not meet with Conservative approval.

  12. SonOfYork
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Another missed opportunity and failure by the Conservative leadership who once again demonstrate that they are not the party of England after all.

    Come on John, stand up for England and join forces with Frank Field and others to show a united front of parliamentarians who put country above party.

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      You are right that they are not the party of England .

      Unfortunately Conservative , Labour and Lib Dem are the party(s?) of London .

      They can’t see beyond the M25 .

  13. BeeCee
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oh dear, Scots, Welsh and Irish MPs will still have a say in the laws which affect English constituences only.

    Typical politicians ‘agreed ambiguity’ – everybody wins:- except the English taxpayer of course, but just wait for the spin!

    BroDave renegades on his word again and my fellow Yorkshireman provides the con.

    What a wonderful weapon to give UKIP in England.

    It should have been the right option not just the one that could be got through Parliament.

    Still being treated as mushrooms!

    • BeeCee
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Apologies, I’ll try to get my spelling right next time!

  14. JoolsB
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    John, any attempt to sell this to the English is not washing. We have been betrayed – end of! The only fair option was option one and even that was a sop but at least it was a sop in the right direction. Why are we not surprised that Cameron has broken yet another promise? The promise he made on the doorstep of no. 10 on the morning of the 19th was to deliver English votes for English laws and to deliver it in tandem with his vow, a vow made without consultation, but which he is determined to honour unlike his promise to us English. Why does he hate the English so much?

    It’s now very obvious to us English that England will never get a fair deal from any of the anti-English Con/Lab/Lib parties. I think yesterday’s betrayal has sealed your party’s fate in the forthcoming election John. UKIP must be rubbing their hands with glee . Mark Reckless on the Daily Politics yesterday spoke for all of us at the injustice of this insulting watered down version unlike the odious Rifkind. And if thanks to Cameron’s betrayal, that means England being governed by Labour and the SNP come May, then hopefully that will be the beginning of the end of their precious union which was far more important to them than delivering fairness for England.

    It seems the break up of this so called union is now the only way forward for England to receive any justice – I for one say bring it on!

  15. MIke Stallard
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Dan Hannan has set out the various possibilities on Conservative Home.
    Me, I am in favour of copying the powers of the Scottish Parliament in our counties so that they can handle justice, tax, and so on like they once used to – actually surprisingly recently too.
    No more blessed MPs and their entourages please!

  16. Francis Lankester Ph
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    But there is no such thing as “English tax.” Because of the block grant it is “UK tax” and so all MP’s must vote. I hate to sound like Cassandra but this very un-Conservative idea of EVEL must lead to either a) the break-up of the UK or b) an English Parliament or c) regional government.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      I watched William Hague fielding questions on his original statement some weeks ago. Lots of backbench MPs made very good points. In the end I came to the conclusion that the only rational thing to do was to scrap devolution!

      • alan jutson
        Posted February 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        backofanenvelope

        Scrap Devolution.

        Or

        Make it the same for all four Nations.

        So bloody simple, thats why it will never happen, politicians never do the simple and straightforward.

        Always the most complicated, the most time consuming, and most costly way.

        I am convinced they do this simply to keep themselves in a job.

  17. Edward Saunders
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The iron would have been better struck while it was hot. Post the referendum, our leader seemed to promise, what most conservatives demand: English legislation dealt with without interference from Scots MPs. Bill Cash proposed changing standing orders, and it was suggested that a Speaker’s committee decide on what should trigger the exclusion of Scots MPs. Now we seem to have a complex arrangement involving some interference from ascots MPs and vetoes. Why the complication?

  18. JoolsB
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    John, with respect, the way I understand it is England will not have the power to set her own tax rates as you suggest. MPs with English seats will only have the power to veto any tax rates proposed by the UK Government. In other words, they might be able to veto any proposals to increase them (and even that power is debatable as we all know MPs vote along party lines rather than national), but they would not have the power to decide the rate or lower them unless the UK Government had proposed it and Labour and the SNP are hardly likely to suggest lowering tax rates for England are they? MPs with English seats (I refuse to say English MPs, they’re not worthy of the title) could not dictate any English only legislation but merely try and act as blocks to any legislation they didn’t like.

    I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

  19. MartinC
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I am very saddened. An historic opportunity to fix the constitutional dogs-breakfast created by Labour north of the border in 1998 has been missed. For three hundred years until then each Scottish constituency had one elected politician, its MP, with a mandate and a responsibility for representing the people of the constituency in the government. Then along came Labour, flushed with victory, who decided to split the job in two creating a new load of elected politicians in Holyrood. In Scotland today, the MP they elect and send to Westminister is responsible for defence and the budget etc., national issues, and the MSP they elect and send to Holyrood is responsible for health and education etc., devolved issues. The same single job, but now done by two generously paid and pensioned officials. Its all nonsense of course. It was jobs for the boys. Back in 1998 Labour was in the ascendency, having just won a landslide with colossal majorities both north and south of the border. I’m sure they believed all these new political posts they were creating in Holyrood would be filled by Labour politicians. Well, it must have come as a nasty shock to them when the SNP took Holyrood – and there is another, nastier shock for them in the pipeline. Tough sh!t. They brought it on themselves and its hard to feel any sympathy.
    But as Conservatives we must address the issue. Here’s what I propose. In the true spirit of devolution we must give control of the Scottish constitution to Holyrood. And then ask them to send 59 persons south to Westminister to represent Scotland in all-UK affairs. If they wish to continue with current practice of separately electing their UK representatives they may do so – but if they wish to scrap that and select 59 MSPs to send to Westminister then it should be their call.
    In England we wont create a new tier of M(English)Ps. But we will have some days where UK-wide matters are discussed and some days where English-only matters are discussed – and Scottish MPs sent from Holyrood will be excluded from these English-only debates.

    • agricola
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      A neat and tidy, cost effective solution. Was Hague incapable of such or was he under instructions to muddy the waters. I think the latter. Quite clearly for the past year at least, the government, which I see as something quite different from the conservative party, have through the oratory of their leader promised many things. However when it comes to delivery we get a very diluted version or quite the opposite of what we were sold. I think that a bright lawyer would have a case for suing the leader under the trades descriptions act for falsifying the product description and selling something unfit for purpose. I hope the electorate of Witney give him the thumbs down in May.

  20. English Pensioner
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    It strikes me that politicians always manage to make simple things far more complicated. If we had English and Welsh parliaments with exactly the same powers as the Scottish parliament, no-one could have any grounds for complaint.
    As the existing parliament would then have far less to do, it could meet perhaps just two day a week, and the English parliament could meet at Westminster on the other three. To save costs it could be declared that the MPs for English constituencies would comprise the English parliament. Scottish & Welsh MPs would have a pay cut as they would only be working part time.
    As it is, it seems we will have a mess. Queen Nichola claims that her MPs have a right to vote on English issues if they impact on Scotland; she wants the Scottish NHS to be run from Edinburgh, but still wants a say in the English NHS. Surely the reverse must also be true and it follows that the English should then have a say in the Scottish NHS. (The Scottish NHS didn’t provide any facilities for the treatment of Ebola which fell on the English NHS which surely demonstrates my point).
    Politicians should remember KISS – Keep it simple, stupid.

  21. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Bad news as expected – one rule for Scots Nationalists and another for British Nationalists.
    A Conservative party that has failed and failed again to defend British interests and values was never going to have the heart and spine needed to deliver a fair settlement for the English. We are asked to believe a party, that lacked the gumption to realise that a treaty that included the line ‘ever closer union’ was going to bring nothing but trouble.

    The Conservatives are an anti England, pro Brussels party now just like the others (although a few like minded Mp’s such as John Redwood stand apart).
    The bottom line is, the Scots will still have the power to vote down any measure that isn’t in tune with their socialist instincts.

  22. Liz
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Does any current party leader believe in democracy for England – it seems to me that they don’t? David Cameron does himself no good whatsoever by proclaiming one minute that he he going to do something then back tracking like mad a few months later – he constantly does it. Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg proved by their obstruction of reformed constituency boundaries that they are not democrats and that power by whatever means is all they are interested in. How sad in the year of the Magna Carta anniversary that democracy is going backwards in the UK and particularly in England.

    • agricola
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the reminder of Magna Carta and what it created is a suitable backdrop against which these pigmy politicians can be judged.

  23. Atlas
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    As usual, the ‘Devil is in the Detail’.

    I, as an Englishman, am not happy that the Scottish MPs can still block English only Legislation.

    • agricola
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      There would, after the removal of Scottish voices on English matters, be more room in the Commons for English MPs to sit. A win win outcome.

    • William Gruff
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 1:00 am | Permalink

      I’m an Englishman and I’m delighted. Scotch interference in our affairs is just what we need to ensure that demands for an English parliament, with powers at least equal to that of Scotland, dominates the 2020 campaign.

      I hope the Scotch bleed us dry, and I hope the people of England suffer. Only then will they understand that they and they alone can change things.

  24. David Price
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    From previous commentary I imagine you are not happy with this outcome but this is not progress at all. With option 3 no matter what the English MPs may or may not veto Scottish and Welsh MPs can then veto the outcome anyway. This is worse than dither and delay, a Yorkshireman who is leaving parliament and moving to Wales dare not irritate the Scots by preventing them interfering in English matters. Worse still he has given them even more powers over the rest of the UK.

    Then Malcolm Rifkind, a Scot, declares the English must put up with second best and fund the Scots ever growing expenditure to keep the union together. He says “We must avoid, therefore, adopting a nationalist solution to a unionist problem.”, yet we alreadt have a union problem created by such British politicians establishing a nationalist solution to a political problem.

    I have to wonder what value this union is for us with such a disparity of treatment, it is really no different to the situation with the EU so clearly this must be some sort of political disease.

  25. Vanessa
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I like Owen Paterson’s idea of the Speaker being empowered to decide whether a new debate is only for the English or the UK. He then tells Scottish MPs etc. to abstain in both the debate and vote – hence English laws for the English.

    We are the taxpayers for the UK, the devolved areas are so small they would not be able to sustain their high taxes on their people and would collapse. We must be given more control over our laws in England and if not we will vote for people who agree.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      You are right about the devolved areas of England. They would indeed need generous subsidies to keep going. And that is where the EU comes in. They will end up owing the EU money or be so badly run, they will not be able to function outside without EU support. Locking us in forever.

  26. CdBrux
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I understand this option is chosen in order to keep an idea of a union parliament and on the face of it, as a unionist, I would approve. However, as I have understood it, it allows the non English MP’s to veto those laws if they so wish which could create deadlock or at least some messy compromises which I think would play badly with the electorate, at least those who ‘could still be bothered / engaged’. Of course what better for a nationalist party to do than to mightily annoy the other parts of the union so they would actually prefer it to leave!

    Reluctantly I become more and more of the opinion that further constitutional change is required to more clearly separate and define what is English / Welsh / NI / Scottish – here I think the Barnett formula must go if nothing else than to have clean demarcation lines, and then have some sort of federal system, notwithstanding this has it’s own problems with Wales / NI having different devolved powers vs Scotland and England being by far the dominant partner.

    What a mess!

  27. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Do you feel betrayed? Cameron and his clique betrays everyone in the end. And never expect a Unionist or British establishment figure to stand up for England. I am now a revolutionary. I will support anyone and everyone who will help rid England of these people.

  28. oldtimer
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    This proposal smells, and it is not a nice smell. I look forward to hearing your considered view after you have had the opportunity to examine it in detail.

  29. David Price
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Just in case my first comment was a bit ‘spicy’ – this is not progress, it is nothing but a slap in the face. Wrong decision and especially wrong in a year Magna Carta is being celebrated.

    The Conservatives have lost Scotland and far from saving the union they may well be heading on a course to lose England as well.

  30. Peter A
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Judging by DP yesterday this will only lead to more votes for UKIP which will decimate Tory marginals and win neither UKIP or Tories seats.

    This should be a bread and butter English issue for the Tories to shout raucously about. It will all be watered down anyway so the flaccid Hague should have produced more robust proposals. As an Englishman I fumed at having no vote on Scottish independence and cheered at the great politics of Cameron’s next-day speech!

    A gimmie, given away. AGAIN

  31. SonOfYork
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    “We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must be heard,” said Cameron after Scotland voted against independence in September’ … after the announcement this week it would appear that Mr Cameron has a hearing problem.

    As you once said John, who will speak for England …

  32. majorfrustration
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off point but the departure of Maude comes as no surprise – off to the HoL I suspect all expenses paid. Likely to be more departures if the Tory does not get right and without any doubt the requirement of English laws set by English MPs -no if no buts and no final vote of all MPs. The proposals by Hague still could put this in doubt. England reuiquires the same level of democracy and non interference that the Scots will enjoy. If Dave cant see this then the Tory party becomes a waste of space.

  33. bigneil
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    They can vote on us – and we can’t do anything? – -sounds like a mini EU.

  34. Mark B
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    A Camel is a horse, designed by committee. So goes the saying.

    UK democracy (sic) is a construct designed by Politicians and Civil Servants designed to keep us in our place. Somewhere between the sole and the heel of their boot.

    What is increasing obvious to many, what was a simple solution to a difficult problem, has been handed to the last people on earth qualified to resolve it. And so it has proved to be.

    There is something in the English psyche that gravitates towards fairness. We have always favoured the under-dog, long being one ourselves.

    I, and I am sure many others, will not forget this. And in the fulness of time, the Tory Party and its supporters, will come to remember it.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  35. stred
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Nauseating, but to be expected from a party controlled by the tartan mafia. Sending Rifkind to explain the fudge was especially insulting. Could the management not find any English collaborators? England…. will decide her own tax rates where the Scots have devolved powers. You must have had a problem writing that. For the English position to be put properly by a UKIP MP on the EUBCs politics programme must have been especially sickening.

  36. Ian Bland
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    This is a total mess. It is entirely conceivable that we will at some near time have a Labour government, whose majority is due to the support of Scottish MPs and Scots Nats, ruling an England that voted Tory (and UKIP etc), with Scottish cabinet ministers making policies and laws which do not affect their own constituencies. And nobody will be able to complain because “you agreed to it”.

    This whole situation is intolerable and, frankly, insulting to the English (and Welsh). Everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. I’d still like to know on whose authority the last minute offers to Scotland before the referendum- from party leaders and self-appointed negotiator Gordon Brown- were actually made.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Ian Bland – that is exactly the problem.

      The decision would have been at the very top of the Conservative party a rotten, hidden sore on the back of the English. It’ll be no use in five years when John Redwood is shaking his head saying I warned you this would happen he needs to shake some of the alphas in his cabinet and wake them up before all the lemmings jump off the edge of the cliff.

  37. Jon
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Well it is progress and better than what we have or what is on offer, not on offer from the others.

    It does look like any bill for England such as a tax power change would initially be voted on by Scotland and Wales and so could be vetoed at that stage. Potentially not giving the English MPs an option to scrutinise because it’s been removed by the devolved countries.

    Still can’t quite get my head round what the fear is. The risk to the union was in devolution to Scotland in 1999. This could stoke nationalism in England and be a force for the break up. Giving England a fair deal may dampen the nationalism.

  38. JoeSoap
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Another litany in complication out of something simple.

    Symmetrical = fair
    Asymmetrical = unfair

    Your man seems to have been “got at” by Brown and Co.

    We need to knock this on the head. Tory MPs throw in your lot, join UKIP and up the tempo.. You will be out of power either way but at least will have a strong voice in the next Parliament, (which looks to be a Labour SNP stitch up) and you can prepare for power in 2020 to pick up the pieces. This time with a strong leadership at the helm.

  39. Newmania
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    My first problem with this is that it is not visible . Whilst the theoretical power to veto bills may exist in practice it will not happen because the political class are committed to maintaining the status quo. One suspects the Parties will unite in selling the English the increasingly absurd outcome with sops provided as when anyone finally loses their rag . I think we all know how that works
    The second problem is that there a lack of urgency .We are facing the prospect of Scotland being bribed with English taxes( vow plus ) to vote Labour, who cling onto power with MPS with little more right to be in Westminster than those we might carelessly import from Southern Ireland .
    If we are going to have un-elected foreigners ordering us around I `d rather it was the French or the Italians , well almost anyone would be preferable to the Scots.

  40. William Gruff
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Expect an English Parliament by 2025 and dissolution of the ‘union’ by 2030.

    Here’s to an English Parliament with powers at least equal to that of Scotland.

  41. Richard1
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I see Gordon Brown accuses Mr Cameron of lighting the fuse which might ultimately blow the UK apart. No Mr Brown, that fuse was lot by you and Tony Blair with the original cynical attempt to lock in Labour’s power through devolution (which has backfired spectacularly).

  42. A different Simon
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Cameron will go down in history as the Prime Minister who let the Union fall apart .

    Isn’t Cameron betraying the democratic choice of the Scots who voted NO to independence ?

    I’ll bet a pound to a penny that this has a lot to do with implementing EU regionalisation directives .

    Am I the only person who finds the destruction of The Union distressing ?

  43. Richard
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The existing leadership of the Con/Lab/Lib (and Green) parties will continue to bribe the Scottish electorate at English taxpayers expense to stay in the Union and hence ensure that their veto will mean that England will always be prevented from leaving the EU.

    Furthermore, they will not want to see a symmetrical devolution taking place with the development of an English Parliament.

    This because they want to protect their power and their jobs.

    As we have seen in Scotland and Wales, the creation of an English Parliament is likely to lead to the formation and advancement of new, English orientated parties and, in addition, calls for the reduction in the number of UK MPs.

  44. ChrisS
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m so angry with Cameron and Hague that I’m almost ready to think the unthinkable :

    Could it be better for the long term future of England if the Conservative Party have an overall majority in our country but for Miliband to be in Downing Street relying totally on SNP support to govern the UK and to subjugate England ?

    Cameron would be toast by June and maybe, just maybe we could have a new leader prepared to stand up for England as well as one who would carry out a genuine renegotiation and be prepared to pull us out of the EU if the terms aren’t right. He or she might even take the sensible course of opening a dialogue with UKIP. The dark horse here could be Philip Hammond.

    When the Miliband Government falls apart within a couple of years we could then elect a proper Conservative Government supported in the North of England by UKIP

    Just Thinking………………

    If I were Bernard Jenkin or our host I would now be deeply a disillusioned man.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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