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Lords committee to question leaders of the Commons and Lords on impact of EVEL

The House of Lords Constitution Committee will this week take evidence from David Lidington MP, Leader of the House of Commons, and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Leader of the House of Lords, in the final session of its inquiry into English Votes for English Laws (EVEL).

The Committee will ask the witnesses about the Government's planned review of EVEL this autumn, and how they will judge whether or not EVEL has been successful. They will also explore some of the wider constitutional questions raised by EVEL, including whether it should have been introduced through primary legislation; how it interacts with the devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and to ‘combined authorities' in England; and whether it affects the relative status of MPs from England and those from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The evidence session will start at 10:30am on Wednesday 14 September in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

Areas the Committee will cover with the witnesses include:

  • Who will the Government consult during its review of EVEL?
  • Why was EVEL, a significant constitutional innovation, introduced via Standing Orders rather than primary legislation?
  • Will EVEL be a lasting reform given the opposition among other parties?
  • Is it problematic that under EVEL MPs are able to veto a measure supported by a majority in both Houses of Parliament while the devolved Parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have the same power?
  • What might be the consequences of the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Courts taking a different view on the boundaries of the legislative competencies of the devolved administrations?
  • Is it realistic to state that all Ministerial posts are still available to all MPs, regardless of whether they represent a constituency in England, Scotland, Wales or Norther Ireland?
  • Is there a risk that the perception of some MPs as ‘second class' could further undermine the Union?

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