Standing Orders — Veto for MPs from England, Wales and Northern Ireland Over Laws Affecting Just Their Parts of the UK — 22 Oct 2015 at 16:00
The majority of MPs voted against giving all MPs a vote on matters which, while specific to one part of the UK, have a significant consequential impact on other parts.
MPs were considering a motion proposing a number of new, and amended, Standing Orders for the House of Commons designed to give the MPs from England, Wales and Northern Ireland a veto when laws specifically impacting one or more of those parts of the United Kingdom are before the House of Commons.
Under the proposed Standing Orders a majority of MPs from the affected areas would need to consent to a relevant bill or amendment before it could put to a House of Commons vote; and a motion put to the whole house would not be considered agreed unless the majority of MPs from qualifying constituencies agreed to it.
The motion under consideration began:
- (1) The following new Standing Orders and changes to Standing Orders be made: ....
The amendment rejected in this vote was
- Line 14 (proposed Standing Order No 83J), leave out “or” and insert “and”.
The subsection which would have been impacted had the amendment not been rejected stated:
- (2) A clause or schedule relates exclusively to England or to England and Wales if (disregarding any minor or consequential effects outside the area in question) it applies only to England or (as the case may be) to England and Wales.
During the debate preceding the vote Chris Bryant MP, who proposed the amendment, stated:
- Our amendment (f) would make this “minor and consequential”, rather than “minor or consequential”, because that is the only way that Barnett consequentials could be taken into consideration when determining whether a Bill applies only in England or only in England and Wales.
A "Barnett consequential" is a change in the grant paid by the UK central Government to the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland due to the application of the Barnett formula. The Barnett formula adjusts central Government funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland based on changes in public spending in England on comparable programmes, taking into to account the relative populations.
Under the proposals which remained unamended after this vote if a change to public spending in England was made MPs in other parts of the United Kingdom would not get a vote on the matter if the only significant impact on those other parts was a consequential change in funding as a result of the Barnett formula. The rejected amendment would have enabled MPs from other parts of the UK to vote on public spending in England if the impact on the central Government grant to the devolved administrations in their parts of the UK were was deemed to be significant.
The amendment rejected in this vote was recorded in the official record after the vote as being:
- Amendment (f), in proposed Standing Order No. 83J(2), leave out second “or” and insert “and”.
According to the official record the amendment would have changed "exclusively to England or to England and Wales" to "exclusively to England and to England and Wales" rendering the subclause nonsensical.
The PDF version of the day's order of business contains a version of the original motion marked up with line numbers showing the proposed amendment as printed on the order of business would impact the third "or" in the subclause, not the second.
-  Motion on new Standing Orders and amendments, Chris Grayling MP, Official Record, House of Commons, 22 October 2015
-  PDF Version of Business Today: Chamber for Thursday 22 October 2015
-  Chris Bryant MP, Official Record, House of Commons, 22 October 2015
-  Report on the Review of the Operation of the Barnett Formula, Finance and Personnel Committee, Northern Ireland Assembly
-  The Barnett formula. House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/108 - Timothy Edmonds, November 30, 2001
-  Official Record, House of Commons, 22 October 2015
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||312 (+2 tell)||0||0||95.2%|
|Lab||0||199 (+2 tell)||0||87.0%|