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Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tory proposals for the 'West Lothian' question

If, as a result of the report by the Conservative Democracy Task Force on the West Lothian Question, the Conservative Party believe that there is nothing inherently wrong in having ‘English Votes for English Laws’ then, for the sake of consistency they must also agree that there is nothing wrong with ‘Welsh Votes for Welsh Laws’. The Conservative grievance that Scottish MP’s have an unfair influence on English law is never extended to accept that English MP’s have always had an unfair influence on Welsh affairs. Since so much primary legislation passed in Westminster is on an England AND Wales basis, adopting the proposals will perpetuate this controlling anomaly and Wales will continue to find itself not being able to successfully legislate for its own good. The current settlement using Legislative Competence Orders from the Government of Wales Act is cumbersome, unwieldy and subject to the obstructive whim of an antagonistic MP. It is time for a simpler solution – let Wales have the power to legislate on its own.

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