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English Votes for English Laws (EVEL)

Selected letter E

The EVEL process operated in the House of Commons from 2015 until its suspension in 2020. The standing orders relating to EVEL procedures were rescinded following a decision of the House on 13 July 2021.

While in use, EVEL was designed to ensure that legislation that affected only England, or England and Wales, was approved by a majority of MPs representing English constituencies, or English and Welsh constituencies. It also applied to legislation introducing a tax measure that affected only England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which had to be approved by a majority of MPs representing constituencies in those areas.

EVEL could be applied to a whole bill, specific clauses or schedules, Lords amendments, a statutory instrument, or specific Budget resolutions.

There were two tests that had be met for EVEL to apply:

  • The first test was that the bill (or clause or schedule of the bill), statutory instrument or Budget resolution related exclusively to England (or England and Wales, or England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
  • The second test was that it was “within devolved legislative competence”.  In other words, that the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly could legislate in their territories on the same matter.

  • About Parliament: EVEL Commons bill procedure
  • Related glossary term: Statutory instruments