North-East Hertfordshire MP, Sir Oliver Heald, took part in a debate on BBC Radio 5live on Wednesday night. As part of his ongoing campaign for English votes for English laws, he debated the future of English devolution with Eddie Bone, who proposed an English Parliament, and Ed Cox, who called for increased regional and city government.
Sir Oliver pressed the case for allowing only MPs for English seats to vote on issues affecting only England, meaning that “no MP would be able to vote on issues where they really have no responsibility or interest.” Sir Oliver criticised the idea of an English Parliament by arguing that people in England do not want another layer of governance and politicians costing billions of pounds, and he rebuffed the idea of regional government with the argument that England is, and feels like, a nation, and so must be dealt with as such. He said that English votes for English laws is “effective – not cosmetic –, commands support, and answers the English question.”
Commenting later, Sir Oliver said, “I am delighted to have taken part in this debate to press for English votes for English laws. It is a simple, cheap, and effective solution to a problem that English people are feeling more and more acutely. The expensive and destabilising nature of an English Parliament, and the inability of regional government to answer the fundamental question of English nationhood makes English votes for English laws the only sensible solution.”
Listen to the debate here: http://tinyurl.com/5livedebate