I was interested to read that Sam Ghibaldan (your report, 27 September) thinks that consequentials of “English” legislation for the rest of the UK are “issues of process not principle”. In short, the MPs for people affected are dismissed without a say.
I would have found the article more convincing if his researches had given us some examples and quantitative estimates of the rest of the UK affecting “English” legislation.
I understand from recent reports that an MP who took the trouble to look at the record found the number of such “English-only” measures to be minuscule.
The West Lothian question seems scarcely worth the emphasis received. One only needs to think of the creation of the Scottish Parliament and the additional powers possibly to be devolved.
If it were suggested that only the MPs of people directly affected (those from Scotland) should have the right to vote, this would be rejected – and reasonably so. Consequentials would be all important and principle would trump process. As it would if the UK Parliament decided that devolution was a mistake and repealed the relevant legislation.
I still have the West Lothian question tucked away in my mind as a historical and academic curiosity. It sits beside the Schleswig Holstein question, whose answer was alleged to be known by only three persons – one who was dead, one who had gone mad and one who had forgotten it.