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Proposed English votes for English laws Standing Orders

16 July 2015

The Procedure Committee announces today that it will be undertaking an initial review of the Government's proposals for Standing Order changes to implement Government policy on English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) in the House of Commons.

Scope of the review

The review is intended to examine the likely practical operation of the Government's proposals and to identify any changes which may be required before the House of Commons is invited to adopt new Standing Orders.

In this initial review, the issues the Committee expects to examine include the clarity of the new procedures; the arrangements for certification of Bills and instruments to which the new procedures will apply; the impact of the new procedures on existing arrangements for considering legislation in the House, particularly at Report and Third Reading; and the likely impact of the new procedures on future legislative drafting.

Technical evaluation

Should the House agree to Government proposals for new Standing Orders, the Committee will then undertake a technical evaluation of the operation of the new procedures, which will contribute to the general review of the new arrangements which the Government has undertaken to hold in 2016. The Committee will issue a call for evidence on how the new procedures have operated in due course.

Make a submission

The Committee is not issuing a formal call for evidence at this stage, but written representations on the issues outlined above, addressing the likely practical and procedural impact, may be submitted via the Committee's website.  It would be helpful to receive any such representations no later than 26 August 2015.

Chair's Comments

Mr Charles Walker MP, Chair of the Procedure Committee, said:

"The changes the Government is proposing to the House are wide-ranging and complex, and it is right that the Committee has the chance to examine them in detail and advise on any likely obvious difficulties in their operation before the House is asked to adopt these new Standing Orders.

It is not the job of the Procedure Committee to examine the policy goals the Government is seeking to achieve. Our task is to make sure that the House is operating on the basis of clear and workable procedures and that the impact of these proposals on the House's existing legislative procedures has been carefully and properly assessed.

The Committee will of course be monitoring closely the implementation of any new procedures agreed to by the House and will report in due course on how any new procedures agreed to by the House have worked in practice."

Further information

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