English votes would be Tory-DUP deal-breaker

Important story from Frank Millar today:

DUP MP Sammy Wilson has intervened twice this week in
the ongoing Commons debate on the Queen’s Speech,
siding with Justice Secretary Jack Straw against one
Tory proposal for a Grand Committee of English MPs to
determine English-only legislation. And the East
Antrim MP last night told The Irish Times he believed
the issue could be a "deal-breaker" should Mr Cameron
at some future point need DUP support either to form
or sustain a Conservative government.

Many commentators believe a hung parliament could be
the outcome of the next British general election,
possibly more so now as a result of the damage to Mr
Brown’s reputation and credibility arising from his
decision last month not to hold a "snap" autumn poll.
Mr Wilson also confirmed that the Tories have been
discreetly "wooing" the DUP at Westminster, and would
regard them as "natural allies" should the opportunity
present itself to replace the Labour government.
However, he said: "My own view is that we would find
it very difficult to support them (the Conservatives)
if they were going to introduce a measure that would
be very detrimental to the Union." (Irish Times via Nuzhound)

Wilson’s first Commons intervention came on Tuesday, in response to John Redwood’s call for English votes for English laws:

As a staunch Unionist, I find that argument rather disturbing. Although devolution did not apply to Northern Ireland or many years, part of the contract of the Union was that decisions
about Northern Ireland were made in this House by people who often
represented parties that did not even organise in Northern Ireland. In
the absence of devolution in England, does that contract not also apply
to people in England in the sense that all hon. Members should make
decisions about what happens in this part of the United Kingdom? (They Work For You)

His second came in support of Jack Straw on Wednesday:

Does the Lord Chancellor
agree that it is strange that those who claim to be most pro-Unionist
are currently aligned with those who have stated in this House today
that they are aiming for the break-up of the United Kingdom? When devolution did not apply to Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland MPs
accepted, sometimes reluctantly, the fact that this House voted on
measures that applied to Northern Ireland, even though most parties in
this House did not stand in Northern Ireland. In the absence of
devolution for England, people in England should accept the same
responsibility as members of the United Kingdom, namely that this House
is supreme in those matters. (They Work For You)

What’s most significant here is that, as noted here previously, the DUP’s opposition to English votes for English laws does not extend to an English parliament. Part of the reason for this is, no doubt, that they cannot very well oppose England having its own legislature when Northern Ireland has one.

This is just one more in the long list of reasons why an English Parliament is the most viable solution to the English question. In a hung Parliament, it’s one that could turn out to be crucial.






7 responses to “English votes would be Tory-DUP deal-breaker”

  1. Tally avatar

    devolution for England has become a political football for politicians. Cameron has no right inviting ulster unionists to be their allies in a hung parliament no more than new labour should invite the snp or plaid cymru to vote with them (which they have done before).
    I’m sure new labour would cheer on sinn fein too should they ever turn up to vote on solely English affairs.Scrap the Lords and have a new british parliament. Like the Australian senate have equal representation regardless of population in a new british parliament and keep the commons for England. However, I am fast coming to the opinion that we should ditch britain for good.

  2. Terry avatar

    “This is just one more in the long list of reasons why an English Parliament is the most viable solution to the English question”
    Absolutely, well said.

  3. Phil McCavity avatar
    Phil McCavity

    Whilst I do object to yet another foregner telling us English how to run our country, I happen to agree with Sammy Wilson that the Conservatives proposal is an unworkable fudge. At the very least we need our own parliament in a federal UK, but I am now more inclined to think that complete independence is the only viable solution. For the likes of Sammy Wilson and Irish, Scottish and Welsh unionists generally that is perhaps unthinkable, but if that is the wish of the English people then they would have to come to terms with that outcome.

  4. Tom Griffin avatar

    There was a suggestion at one time that the DUP would be able to vote on English matters because there was no devolution in Northern Ireland.
    That excuse no longer applies, which is maybe one reason why this issue has come up now.

  5. Fred Forsythe (Not the) avatar
    Fred Forsythe (Not the)

    ENGLISH PARLIAMENT——————-GET IT?? Or is the gravy train going too fast to alight?

  6. Stephen Gash avatar

    Polls consistently show that around two thirds of English people want their own parliament to run England’s affairs. Persistently denying the English people their democratic rights will surely break the Union.
    The recent British Irish International Conference held by the British Irish Council http://www1.british-irishcouncil.org/member/membermain.asp didn’t even have an Englishman sat at the table. I suppose this is fair as England is represented in this …er council, just as England has no representation in the EU.
    Stuff the “United” Kingdom.

  7. Stephen Gash avatar
    Stephen Gash

    Of course, I should have said England is NOT represented in the British Irish Council.
    The English pay but have no say.

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