English MPs to get new veto powers in UK parliament

English lawmakers from constituencies in England will get veto powers over laws affecting their region rather than the whole of UK under a new proposal which also removes the ability of Scottish MPs to vote on issues that deal specifically with England.

PTI| Updated: Jul 02, 2015, 20:57 PM IST

London: English lawmakers from constituencies in England will get veto powers over laws affecting their region rather than the whole of UK under a new proposal which also removes the ability of Scottish MPs to vote on issues that deal specifically with England.

House of Commons Leader Chris Grayling said the change, also applying in some cases to Welsh MPs, would bring "real fairness to our constitutional arrangements".

The announcement follows a pre-election promise by Prime Minister David Cameron to address the decades old imbalances in the UK parliament where Scottish MPs could vote on laws affecting only England but English lawmakers could not vote on Scottish issues which are handled by Scotland's devolved parliament.

Under the new proposal, all MPs would continue to vote on all key stages of legislation.

But English MPs ? and in some cases English and Welsh MPs ? will have a veto in the House of Commons when debating matters that have been devolved to the devolved administrations such as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

MPs will debate the changes on July 15 and the system will be changed using the rules ? known as standing orders ? that dictate how Parliament conducts its business, Grayling announced today.

With more powers set to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament after last year's independence referendum, Tory MPs have said it is not right that MPs representing Scottish constituencies can continue to determine laws affecting England only.

Grayling told MPs that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were getting a "stronger voice" and that it was "only fair" to do the same for England.

The Speaker will be asked to certify which bills or parts of bills relate to England or England and Wales only, he explained.

Tablet computers will be used so MPs can instantly register whether they have used their veto.

Opposition Labour said it was an "outrage" that ministers wanted to rush into making "profound constitutional change".