Busy in the Lords…

_39082269_lordsstill_300The House rose today for the summer recess.  (The Commons rose yesterday.)  It has been a busy period since the new Parliament began.  The Government has lost a number of votes.  Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly backed a motion, moved by former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler of Brockwell, recommending a joint committee with the Commons to consider the constitutional implications of the Government’s proposals for English Votes for English laws.  The Government interpreted it as proposing a committee to examine alternatives to the proposals or to report on the merits of the proposals, whereas the motion was to look at consequences.  Setting up a committee does not get in the way of undertaking what the Government has proposed: the two things (implementing the proposals, a committee to examine consequences) can run in parallel with one another.  It is up to the Commons to decide whether to go along with the proposal.

As will be apparent from previous posts, select committees are up and running.  The European Committee has, for the first time, issued a ‘green card’.  (You can see details here.)  We have also got under way considering various Private Members’ Bills, the value of which is to get issues debated; the likelihood of them being enacted is usually small, unless enjoying Government support.

These developments are visible – the public can see what is happening.  The House has also introduced a change not visible to the watching public.  Whenever we vote now, our names are not crossed off by clerks on a paper list, but recorded on a tablet device.  I have done a post about it on Lords of the Blog.  We may utilise some old practices, but we also embrace the new.

The House returns on 7 September.  Like the Commons, we have a two-week September sitting, before returning for the autumn on 12 October.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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6 Responses to Busy in the Lords…

  1. Jonathan says:

    Do we really have to call it “English votes for English laws”? It’s been pointed out by various people that it sounds like a BNP slogan (with “British”, “jobs” and “workers” substituted). It makes the concept sound nationalistic. How about something like, “Geographically restricted voting”? Perhaps we could have a competition to come up with the most appropriate name!

    • Lord Norton says:

      Jonathan: As I pointed out in last week’s debate, the proposals do not in any event deliver English Votes for English Laws (EVEL). They provide for a veto by MPs representing English seats over laws exclusive to England.

  2. maude elwes says:

    Interesting, Jonathan, would align this thread with an idea that the English population should have no vote in the way the Scots have! It’s the old game of ‘British’ being a name for any immigrant well wisher in the Globalization game. Is it not? Must not mention ‘English’ that has to be kept under the hat. English now being a stifled sentiment akin to the abusive N world.

    If Scotland wants to be a separate, not ruled by the laws of Westminster, that is surely their democratic right. Calling it by any other name like, say, Scottish votes for Scottish people, is identical to the concept of a rose by any other name, being just as sweet. The lie here being, the EU changes to sectioning European areas into manageable constituents puts Scotland, England and Ireland as separate entities. I assume Jonathan is aware of this. Is he not?

    Click to access regionmap.pdf

    To take a wider view, in fact a European view, where, after all, we are truly ruled from, or, if we want to be honest and go down that path, the Globalist notion of rule. Read this link to the reality you will soon be facing. Really are already facing but denied debate on it.


    European States are realising at last what Globalism really means and the sacrifice we are expected to make for it. So, Jonathans warning is simply in line with common UK government policy. Redefine England or redefine the UK, in line with Globalist vision.

  3. So it can be VoMPRESoLEL, sort of catchy…

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