POLITICS

SNP MPs Should Not Overrule The Wishes Of England, Says David Cameron

01/07/2015 13:54 BST | Updated 01/07/2015 13:59 BST
PA/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

David Cameron has insisted he is not planning to relegate Scottish MPs to second class status, as the governments prepares to introduce English votes for English laws.

The SNP has said it is a "democratic outrage" that the Conservative Party reportedly plans to change parliamentary procedure before the summer in order to ensure any laws passed affecting only England would require a majority of English MPs to vote in favour.

Angus Robertson, the SNP's leader in Westminster, told Cameron during prime minister's question time today the move would "exclude Scottish MPs from parts of the democratic process".

However the prime minister said the move was designed to introduce "fairness" across the United Kingdom. At present, English MPs do not have a vote on issues such as education and health in Scotland as they are handled by the Scottish parliament. However Scottish MPs in Westminster are able to vote on laws affecting education and health in England.

Cameron said: "We are not creating a system of two tiers for MPs. All MPs will still vote on all Bills. What we are saying is laws which only apply in England should only pass if they are supported by a majority of English MPs."

He said the move was to make sure "the wishes of English MPs can not be overruled".

However the SNP argue that the budgets for education, health and other areas in England have a knock on affect to the budgets in Scotland and therefore Scottish MPs should be allowed to have a say.

Commenting after PMQs, Robertson said: "Any change to restrict the voting rights of MP will have far reaching ramifications. This attempt by the government to rush through these plans without affording it proper scrutiny and debate flies in the face of democracy.

"It is clear that the ‘respect agenda’ David Cameron once proclaimed has been dumped for good - just like his party in Scotland."

During the election campaign, the prime minister said EVEL would be in place by the time of his first Budget - which takes place next Wednesday.

Cameron said without the change, "resentment" would start to build in England and put the union at risk. "English MPs will be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, while Scottish MPs are able to vote on the tax you pay in Birmingham or Canterbury or Leeds. It is simply unfair. And with English votes for English laws we will put it right," he said.