Additional layer of politics?

Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column
Crawley MP Henry Smith's latest column

In the UK we have a constitutional imbalance that’s why in Parliament I’ve been calling for English votes for the English nation – EVEN.

There are significant areas of policy which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, but as it stands now, Scottish MPs in Westminster can vote on matters affecting England in the House of Commons, even though English MPs can’t vote on Scotland issues. The same applies for the Welsh MPs and the Assembly in Cardiff.

Some have said the answer is to create a separate English Parliament in a brand new building. But I don’t believe we need an additional layer of politicians.

I think the answer is, for issues that are devolved to the nations, only MPs representing English seats should be able to vote on issues affecting only England.

Two principles would apply; if any proposed legislation does not affect every nation of the United Kingdom, it should be drafted so that only MPs of the nations affected have a vote.

On the subject of our evolving constitution, I have been proud to vote for an in/out UK/EU referendum every time legislation has been put forward in the House of Commons.

This has been the first UK Government to achieve a reduction in the EU budget – something that UKIP MEPs in Brussels, incredibly, voted against.

Since 2010, this Government has made it law that a referendum lock now exists to halt any further transfer of sovereignty to Europe without a public poll (as well as cancelling the previous government’s commitment to fund the euro bail-out mechanism.)

But a referendum on the UK’s EU membership is needed – I will continue to campaign for this, and will continue to vote in the House of Commons for us to have a referendum.

I also support the Prime Minister in calling for the repeal of the so-called Human Rights Act, and the introduction of a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Such reforms cannot be made without a majority government.

If introduced, these changes will ensure, for example, that foreign criminals and terrorists will be unable to evade deportation because it is their claimed ‘human right’ to remain in the UK.

In the year of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, it is time to sort out these constitutional imbalance.