Britain passes lawmaking reforms

2015-10-22 20:56
British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street to go the Houses of Parliament. (Matt Dunham, AP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street to go the Houses of Parliament. (Matt Dunham, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain on Thursday approved its biggest constitutional change in decades, giving English lawmakers a veto over legislation that only applies to England, despite fierce opposition from Scottish nationalists.

Critics say the plan, part of a wider scheme of devolution among Britain's constituent nations, deepens the divide between England and Scotland at a time when question marks hang over the future of their 300-year-old union.

Reject independence

After an impassioned debate, lawmakers voted 312 to 270 in favour of the reforms, which primarily seek to resolve the fact that lawmakers representing regions in Scotland can vote on legislation that only affects England.

The Conservative government promised ahead of May national elections to address the imbalance, saying that it was unfair to English voters and fuelled resentment.

The issue, which has simmered in British politics since 1977, came to the boil last year after the government promised to expand the remit of Scotland's devolved parliament, in a late bid to persuade Scots to reject independence at a referendum.

That decision reopened old grievances over the balance of lawmaking power across the United Kingdom. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have devolved administrations with varying degrees of authority, whilst English laws are solely determined in the overarching British parliament.

Strengthen animosity

Under the arrangements passed on Thursday, legislation which is deemed to affect only England will have to be approved by a committee of lawmakers based in English constituencies before being voted on by all members of parliament. The new stage hands an effective veto to English lawmakers.

That has been strongly opposed by Scottish National Party (SNP) lawmakers who say it will give them second-class status in parliament and strengthen animosity in Scotland towards the British government.

The opposition Labour Party also voted against the proposals, which it said were poorly constructed and had been pushed through parliament without enough scrutiny.
Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.