It appears that Mr Clegg and the Lib Dems are as determined as Labour to deny England any justice on our lop sided devolution settlement. Rumour has it that they turned down Mr Hague’s request to join Conservatives in voting through English votes for English issues. If they would add their votes to ours we could pass a simple government motion to amend Standing Orders and from that date we would have English votes for English issues.
I am still awaiting a reply to my letter to Mr Clegg, which I reproduce below
The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrat Headquarters
8-10 Great George Street
London SW1P 3AE
13 October 2014
Dear Mr Clegg
You have doubtless seen recent polls which show more than 70% of the public think that we need to offer justice to England as we complete further transfers of power to Scotland. As Scotland moves to having control over her own Income Tax rates, so we will need a way of setting Income Tax for England without the advice and votes of Scottish MPs.
The important first step to achieve more balanced devolution is the policy of English votes for English issues. We could do this by passing a simple motion amending the Standing Orders of the House. I would like to know if you and your party is in agreement, as it would be easiest to table it as a government motion and it would then have a comfortable majority. It would also mean you could share in the credit for doing something that is both just and popular. Our Amendment will give similar voting facilities to Wales and Northern Ireland depending on the degree of devolution to them.
If you do not agree with this proposal, then I and a number of my Conservative colleagues will aim to table it anyway, as we believe there will be a narrow majority for it in the Commons even without Liberal Democrat official support.
The Rt Hon John Redwood MP
Member of Parliament for Wokingham
Meanwhile the latest poll from Scotland points to a massive surge in SNP votes. If this is sustained at the General Election Westminster cannot ignore the force of the wish for more Home Rule.The UK government and Parliament will have to sit down and discuss a new settlement for Scotland. That must also mean a new settlement for England too. If the SNP win most of the Scottish seats in 2015 it will mean the need to discuss a proper federal solution for the UK.