Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP used St. George's Day to repeat his party's call for an English Parliament as an answer to the West Lothian Question. Mr Williams outlined Plaid Cymru's evidence to the McKay Commission, which was set up by the Coalition to examine the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons. The main issue is how the Westminster Parliament deals with business that is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and therefore applies to England only.

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP said:

"Plaid Cymru's core belief is that the people of Wales should have the right to determine their own future – and the people of England have that right as well.

“At the moment, the House of Commons is trying to do two jobs – be the English Parliament and the UK Parliament. These roles need to be separated.

“Proposals for an ‘English Votes for English Laws’ system in the UK Parliament are complicated and probably unworkable.

“The simplest solution is an English Parliament which has similar powers to those of Parliaments and Assemblies for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that English MPs can have a space in which to debate their own problems without other MPs being present.

"Proposals for EVEL within the current system would not remove the democratic deficit where English MPs vote on legislation and funding which affects Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“The recent report from Richard Wyn Jones and the IPPR showed the support for an English Parliament and we believe that such a move would make sense if allied to wider constitutional change including reform of the House of Lords and a permanent commission to ensure fair funding for Wales, independent of the UK Treasury.

“The McKay Commission needs to have an expanded remit which would allow them to answer the West Lothian Question and not force them into creating more bureaucracy in what is already one of the world's most Byzantine and archaic parliaments.”

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