Government announces plans around English votes for English laws… on iPads

James Nickerson
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Grayling is introducing a new stage of voting for legislation (Source: Getty)

Chris Grayling, the leader of the Commons, has announced plans to create a system in Westminster that supports "English Votes for English Laws" - and he added that under the new rules, a new stage of votes will be taken on tablet computers.

The government wants to give MPs from English constituencies a new “veto” power over laws affecting only England, bringing “real fairness to our constitutional arrangements”, Grayling said.

The Conservative front-bencher outlined the government’s plans to create a new stage of voting, where a committee of MPs from England and Wales could block legislation that only affects their nations.

Read more: Tory election pledge - English votes for English laws within a year

Under the proposals, all MPs will continue to vote on all key stages of legislation. However, English MPs - and in some cases English and Welsh MPs - will have a veto in Westminster when debating matters that have been devolved to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations.

This new double majority system will use a new system for recording votes in the division lobbies. In future votes will be recorded on tablet computers, so it will be possible to give the tellers an immediate tally of whether a measure has a majority of English MPs as well, said Grayling.

This comes as the government plans more devolved powers to the Holyrood parliament in Edinburgh, including the ability to vary rates and income tax bands.

The Conservatives are following through on a pledge in their election manifesto that decisions on matters affecting only England, or England and Wales, should be taken with the consent of the majority of MPs from those regions.

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