Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): The three leaders of the main parties made generous offers to Scotland. I am sure that they wish to honour those offers, and I urge them to do so as quickly as possible. It would be easier if they could try to find some agreement among themselves, because, unfortunately, their offers were a bit different. I also urge them to be generous. I think we want to have the right spirit for this negotiation, and I disagree with the former Prime Minister: I think that Scotland should have full powers over income tax, and I think that the more fiscal devolution there is, the better. I think it makes a lot of sense for whoever is responsible for spending the money to be responsible for raising it as well.
However, I have also raised the question of England. I have spoken for England, and since I launched my “Speak for England” campaign, I have been overwhelmed with support from around the country. More than 70% of the English people believe that we need English votes on English issues, and they believe that we need them now. That would be a first important step on the road to justice for England.
Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right: he has been totally consistent. I actually used him as an example as I went around the meeting places of Scotland saying, “This is the real mood of the Tory Back Benches.” I was told that he was a siren voice—that he was in the wilderness—but he is actually the voice of the Tory Back Benches.
Mr Redwood: My voice is central to this debate because that is what the English people wish. I am merely trying to interpret their wishes, and I am proud to be able to do so.
We are told by some that this is too difficult to do. It is not too difficult to do. It is very easy to define an English issue: it is an issue that has been devolved elsewhere. What it makes sense for Scotland to decide in Scotland, England should decide in England. We are told that there are complications involving different types of MP, but we have different types of MP today. We all have different rights, duties and responsibilities, depending on how much has been devolved. Some of us can deal with all the issues in our constituencies, but we have the advice and the votes of others from other parts of the country who cannot deal with all the issues in their constituencies because those issues have been devolved.
What I am concerned about is equality for the voters. We are now talking about offering income tax powers to Scotland, which I think will happen, because all the parties agree with a version of it. It would be grossly unfair if the voters of Scotland, by their majority, could instruct their Scottish Parliament on what income tax rate they wanted, while the voters of England, instructing their MPs, might not get their wishes by a majority, because Members from other parts of the country might come and vote for a higher rate in England than English MPs or their constituencies wanted. It would be unfair votes, and that is what we need to address.
Sir Robert Smith (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD): rose—
Mr Redwood: Does the hon. Gentleman wish to intervene?
Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order. The hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (Sir Robert Smith) has only just walked into the Chamber, and I do not want to embarrass him.
Mr Redwood: I say that we need justice for England, and that we need to embark on this course now. We could begin today if Scottish Members of Parliament such as those in the SNP would simply say that they would no longer vote on English-only matters. We could do it quite simply by amending the Standing Orders of the House, which I strongly recommend.
I hope that other parties will come with us. I am offering something that is extraordinarily popular in England. All the parties are struggling a bit to be popular enough to win the general election, and one would have thought that they would want to associate themselves with something as popular as this. I cannot remember when I last supported something this popular, and I do not go out of my way to support unpopular causes. Yet I find MPs from other parties queuing up to disagree with the English people, to deny the English people justice, to say that an English person’s vote should not count as much as a Scottish person’s vote, and to say that, yes, they want to see an income tax rate set for England by people who will not be paying the tax, and who do not represent those who do pay it.
I say, “Justice for England! Justice now! English votes for English issues!”