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Is William Hague giving a ‘decisive’ answer to the West Lothian question?

3 February 2015

8:55 AM

3 February 2015

8:55 AM

When David Cameron stood outside Downing Street the day after the Scottish independence referendum and said that the ‘West Lothian question deserves a decisive answer’, he was thinking mostly of the trouble that this answer would cause Labour. But now, as William Hague announces what that answer is, the trouble seems to be more Tory than Labour.

The answer itself might not be definitive, either, as it does not offer the full English votes for English laws where Scottish MPs would be banned from voting on English-only matters that some in the Conservative party had been pushing for. Instead, it is an ‘effective veto’, with a new committee stage for legislation affecting only England and Wales.

Hague has been defending the plan this morning, but he had a bruising and long session with Tory MPs last week where several pushed him to adopt their preferred route. The chances are that they won’t cause major trouble this side of an election, but neither will they see this as a ‘decisive’ answer tithe question.


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