DAVID Cameron’s plans for English Votes for English Laws (Evel) were passed by the House of Commons last night despite opposition politicians warning they will create two classes of MPs.
The Conservative majority ensured that the plans were passed by 312 votes against the 270 MPs who voted against the controversial plans.
During a stormy debate, SNP MPs warned the plans would fuel demand for independence and after votes were counted one Nationalist went as far as claiming that the Conservatives had ended the Union.
Owen Thomson, the SNP MP for Midlothian, tweeted: “The Tories ended the Union today – not SNP & not the people of Scotland – result of this will have a huge consequence for whole UK.”
Labour, the SNP and politicians from Wales and Northern Ireland warned the proposals would create two tiers of MPs as they lined up to criticise the proposals brought forward in an attempt to answer the West Lothian Question – posed by theformer Labour MP Tam Dalyell who asked why, under devolution, Scottish MPs could vote on English-only legislation while English MPs could not vote on some Scottish laws.
During the debate, Pete Wishart, SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, described the government’s plans as “stupid” and claimed they would fuel demand for independence.
If this is an exercise in saving the Union you could not have contrived of a more inept way to save the Union. Support for independence is actually increasing.Pete Wishart
Mr Wishart was joined by Labour MPs as he claimed that the plan would make Scottish MPs “second-class citizens”.
“Scotland is watching this and the mood is darkening,” he warned. “If this is an exercise in saving the Union you could not have contrived of a more inept way to save the Union. Support for independence is actually increasing.”
Mr Wishart also said Evel would “politicise” the role of the Speaker.
All MPs will continue to speak and vote on the existing legislative stages but only relevant MPs will be allowed to vote at the new phases where the Speaker declares a bill, or clause within a bill, is English or English and Welsh only.