Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael today attacked the Conservative’s plans to introduce a veto for English MPs on laws affecting England.
The Leader of the House, Chris Grayling MP, has announced the Government’s intention to implement English votes for English laws (EVEL) through a change to the Standing Orders in Parliament and not through primary legislation.
Questioning Mr Grayling in the House of Commons, Mr Carmichael said:
“If there are not to be two tiers of MPs in this House after these changes, what on earth does it mean to have a double majority at Report stage? I have to say I think it is an outrage that the Government are seeking to drive ahead with a fundamental challenge to the constitutional integrity of this House as the Parliament of the UK through Standing Orders. If the Leader of the House really thinks these proposals will bear scrutiny, he should bring forward primary legislation for proper scrutiny both on the Floor of this House and in the other place. If he thinks he can do that, let him come ahead and do it.”
Commenting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“David Cameron is now a bigger threat to the continuation of the UK than Alex Salmond. It has now been confirmed today with this ill-advised plan for EVEL which the Government is not even prepared to offer up for proper scrutiny by all MPs. This will create two classes of MPs.
“I have written to the Speaker today asking that he allows the House of Commons to debate the disgraceful tactics being employed by the Government in bulldozing this change through the House of Commons. The House of Lords will not even get to consider the changes.
“Standing Order 24 is a little-used procedural device that allows the Speaker to set aside the next day’s business to discuss a matter that is important and urgent. This certainly fits the bill.”