May’s coalition can’t work – because of a TORY law #BadFridayAgreement

The SKWAWKBOX understands that a senior Tory is in Belfast today for discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with a view to establishing a formal coalition rather than a ‘confidence and supply arrangement’ (CSA).

However, either arrangement may in fact be unlawful.

In late 2015, against the objections of Labour, the SNP and other parties, the Tory government rammed through its ‘English votes for English laws’ (EVEL) legislation:

evel.png

The Tories had tabled a bill under the coalition, out of a desire to prevent Labour and SNP MPs, who dominated Scotland, from hampering Conservative plans – and David Cameron also wanted to appease ‘little England’.

That bill became law and was used for the first time in January last year:

evel1

This means that on any ‘England only’ or ‘England and Wales only’ matters, the DUP would have no standing and would not be entitled to vote. As the SNP would also be excluded, the Tories would be able to win many votes – but government defeats would be far more easily within reach for Labour with its increased number of MPs, especially ‘England and Wales’ matters, where Plaid MPs would also be able to vote.

Even more important is the constitutional viability of a coalition/CSA. As DUP MPs do not have full powers in the House, there would be a question mark over the legitimacy of the arrangement – either rendering it void or, at the very least, enough to justify the House of Lords rejecting any Commons legislation to a far higher degree than usual.

The matter needs to be examined urgently by parliamentary and constitutional lawyers – and before Theresa May attempts to get a Queen’s Speech through Parliament.

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24 responses to “May’s coalition can’t work – because of a TORY law #BadFridayAgreement

  1. Having gone to the Queen is she Prime Minister before she gets a deal with DUP? This is important as I had a £20 bet on for Corbyn to be the next PM.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure I follow this. With DUP support UK overall majority for Cons is 6 (excluding complications of Sinn Fein and Speaker). In England and Wales alone the Cons have an overall majority of 37, which makes E&W matters easier for them than whole UK matters.

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    • Yes, but
      1) When this was enacted into law, there were just one each Tory/Labour/LD MP in Scotland & now………………….

      2) If this legislation specifically precludes the entire phalanx of any particular party from full participation in Parliament, then it may very well be that any such party cannot constitutionally form any part of a UK Government by any manner of means.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure that I follow that either.

        Constitutionally the DUP, or any party for that matter, can vote how it pleases. If its MPs choose to support the government then that’s a matter for them.

        Your hypothesis would exclude a SNP/Lab arrangement or even a Green/Lab arrangement if all the Green MPs happened to be in Wales and Scotland

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  3. EVEL is more a veto than a vote with extra committee stage for Eng MPs. As Coms have majority of 37 in English and Welsh MPs then it is unlikely EVEL will have much of an effect.

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  4. Pingback: May’s coalition can’t work – because of a TORY law #BadFridayAgreement | Jaffer's blog·

  5. This is wrong in so many ways and this can only turn things really bad for this country , need to sit down and really think things through , if you think the TORIES are bad this can even get worse , scary !!

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  6. England has 533 MPs. Wales has 40. That is 573. Or 287 for a majority. In England alone the conservatives won 297 MPs, and have another 8 in Wales.

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  7. Pingback: May’s coalition can’t work – because of a TORY law #BadFridayAgreement | BertieS·

  8. Hi, think you really need to read up on EVEL in practice! It gives England only legislation a first reading and vote before England only MP’s. At this stage the vote only allows them to reject a bill. Acceptance still lies in the hands of the full chamber. Also the arithmetic of England only votes actually suits the Tories better.

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  9. There is also the question of the applicability of the Salisbury Convention as regards the House of Lords. Could mean the Lord’s being able to block measures for 12 months, which is probably longer than this Government will last.

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