Why can’t English MP just vote for English matters?
Well there is nothing of course stopping it and never was anything preventing this. Even under the post Glorious Revolution settlement you could have easily had a convention (or a tradition) of other MP abstaining on such issues but then you’d have a power paradox.
You see the Prime minister must a majority of MP, so a PM could have a national majority but not an English minority. The trouble is England represents 80% of the UK. Worse still they could have a UK majority but not a majority in any of the devolved nations. In the last election, had we had such a system, labour would have had a UK majority but not one in any region except wales, this would leave you with a lame duck PM passing national policy at odds to the polices being passed in the various nations .
Of course the reverse is currently true and a cause for nationalist pressures in our union. The current PM does not have a majority in Wales, Scotland or NI indeed the Tory party has no MP’s in Ni and only one in Scotland yet he “rules” over all of the UK. What this had led to is Tory government ignoring these areas as they don’t matter to them electorally and this situation is untenable as well.
So what can we do?
· Go back, row back devolution: Though technically and legally possible any such move would at best lead to years of bad blood and protest and at worse to the end of the Union and the alienation of our brothers and sisters.
· Break up the Union: This would require a mass referendum and as none of the “main” parties would support it, it would be unlikely to pass. Also the end of our country is like killing a person merely because they have a tummy ache
· English votes for English MP and hang the oddness. Whilst this could be done without a formal constitution but would most likely lead to one and once you give politicians legal power they tend to use and expand them. Again leading to UK Vs National power struggles and lame duck PMs
· A formal federal UK based on the existing nations where the PM had to be elected by all 4 parts. This would lead to at best collations of the vaguely willing and at worse endless elections
A Federal UK with sub national federal regions for England but federal region at nation level for Scotland, NI wales. The biggest issue of this is that the English always vote against it and see it as another layer of bureaucracy and politicians which it is but is a workable and respectable system of governance.
· A federal UK replacing the devolved region with a wholly sub national federal system. This is my ideal, it would greatly strengthen the Union and end the threat of nationalism, however very unlikely ever to be voted through
What we can’t do