As a member of the House of Commons Procedure Committee, we took evidence during the week on the UK Government’s plan for pushing through English Votes for English Laws. These plans are a shambles, which would reduce Scottish MPs to a second class status.
The UK Government has already had to postpone a substantive vote on the plans in the House of Commons and has had to redraft its proposals to redraft standing orders.
At the committee hearing where Mr Chris Grayling MP, Leader of the House was giving evidence on the proposals, I asked him if he thought these half-baked proposals, which could deny Scottish MPs a say on matters which may have a material effect on Scotland, would strengthen or weaken the Union.
Mr Grayling replied:
“I am prepared to bet that if you and I went and had a drink in a pub in your constituency with a group of your constituents and set out for them what these proposals actually entail in the context of the enhanced devolution in Scotland, I think they would be with me rather than you.”
I immediately indicated at the Committee that I would be delighted to accept Mr Grayling’s offer.
I have now written to Mr Grayling to accept his offer. As yet, I have not decided which pub it would be best for Mr Grayling to visit but I will give this matter some thought and I am open to suggestions. I am sure my constituents would be delighted to hear Mr Grayling’s thoughts on excluding Scottish MPs from voting on important matters which could have significant consequences for Scotland.