COMMONS

Procedure Committee to evaluate EVEL arrangements

13 January 2016

The Procedure Committee intends to undertake a thorough technical evaluation of the arrangements for "English votes for English laws" agreed by the House of Commons in October 2015.

Background

The evaluation will cover all practical aspects of the procedure, including certification of Bills and instruments and the operation of the new legislative grand committees.

The Committee launches this inquiry on the first day on which the new Legislative Grand Committees, established in October 2015, will sit. The Committees are to consider consent motions in respect of certain clauses and schedules of, and amendments made to, the Housing and Planning Bill.

The Committee plans to monitor the practical and procedural issues arising from the new arrangements as they apply to all bills and secondary legislation for the remainder of the 2015-16 Session. It plans to report its findings early in the 2016-17 Session in order to inform the Government’s own review of EVEL arrangements.

Terms of reference

The Committee invites written submissions on all relevant aspects of EVEL practice and procedure at any stage of the process.

Such aspects may include (but are not limited to):

  • Arrangements for the certification of bills and provisions of bills after Second Reading, changes made to Bills after Committee and Report stages, and Lords Amendments and Lords Messages on bills.
  • The practical arrangements made for the consideration of consent motions in Legislative Grand Committee (England) and Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales).
  • The effect of the new procedures on the overall allocation of time for Report Stage and Third Reading of programmed bills subject to EVEL, and the time allocated to the consideration of consent motions in Legislative Grand Committee.
  • Matters arising from Commons consideration of Lords Amendments to bills subject to EVEL procedures, and of any subsequent Lords Messages on such bills.
  • The likely operation of the procedure as it will apply to Budget Resolutions and Finance Bills, with particular reference to the provisions of the current Scotland Bill once enacted.
  • The recommendations made by the Committee in its interim report on EVEL, and in particular in respect of:
    • applying the EVEL procedures only to certain bills, following a debate and vote in the House (paragraph 98 of HC 410)
    • determining consent of MPs for constituencies in England and England-and-Wales to certain provisions of bills by double-majority vote at Report Stage (paragraphs 100 and 101 of HC 410)
  • Issues of legislative drafting practice in respect of England-only and England-and-Wales only matters.

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions may be made by the Committee’s evidence portal on the inquiry page. Submissions should ordinarily be made by Tuesday 12 April 2016.

Submissions relating to matters considered under EVEL between the Easter recess and the end of the 2015-16 Session will also be accepted but must be made as soon as possible and no later than the day of State Opening of the 2016-17 Session.

Further information

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