UK MPs Debate Devolution Following Scotland Referendum

UK MPs took part in a general debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 on devolution following the Scotland referendum which saw a 55% vote 'No' to independence.

The motion for the debate was made by the Leader of the House of Commons, William Hague who is chairing a commission looking into whether Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs should be stopped from voting on matters exclusively affecting England or whether English MPs should be given an enhanced role in the legislative process.

The Labour Party strongly opposes the suggestion: "You cannot have one UK if you have two separate classes of MP," former Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Gordon Brown said, "You cannot have representatives elected by the people who are half in and half out of the law making process."

The UK Government published a Command Paper one day before the debate, setting out the three main UK parties’ published proposals on further devolution in Scotland. The five Scottish Parliament parties had already submitted their proposals outlining which new powers they think should be devolved from Westminster, in the wake of the referendum vote against independence.

The debate did not result in consensus, but Liberal Democratic Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael closed the debate with a call to action: "Moving forward, we need a sustainable constitutional settlement that meets the wishes of the people of our nations and the clear commitments that we have given."   


Photo courtesy of Kev Cook

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