Scottish independence: A devolved Scotland would necessitate an English-only parliament, claims John Redwood

 

Political Correspondent

If Scotland votes to remain part of the United Kingdom and is given further devolved powers, including decisions over taxation, an “English” parliament which excludes Scottish MPs will need to be created in Westminster, a former Conservative cabinet minister has claimed.

The former Welsh Secretary John Redwood says that unanswered questions over devolution for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has left Westminster constitutionally “lop-sided”.

With Scotland promised further control over its own taxation ahead of September’s referendum vote, Mr Redwood believes that “England will be left without a voice”.

Giving a lecture for the Freedom Association in London today, Mr Redwood predicted it would be unsustainable for Scottish MPs to continue voting through taxes that only applied to England.

Although the idea of a two-parliament Westminster has been discussed before – consisting of a “UK parliament” involving all MPs and a separate English-only chamber restricted to MPs from constituencies in England – Mr Redwood said a no vote in the referendum would reopen a wider constitutional debate on MPs’ powers.

Speaking to The Independent ahead of the McWhirter memorial lecture, Mr Redwood said “I do not believe that English people will accept that a majority can be constructed at Westminster using Scottish MPs to impose a tax in England that isn’t being imposed in Scotland. That does not make any sense.”

The former cabinet minister in John Major’s government suggested that a “convention will grow that will exclude Scottish MPs from certain ministerial jobs”. However he said that “wholly or mainly Union jobs, such a Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, could be held by future Scottish MPs.

He added “I strongly hold the view that it must be English representatives who do English business. And that will mean an English parliament in Westminster and a Union parliament in Westminster – and those selected for English seats will simply do two jobs.”

In 2008 Labour’s then-Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, admitted that devolution had created a “clear anomaly” but said the imbalance had to be resolved in a way that “most promotes the Union”. But he rejected the idea of an English parliament operating in a two-tier Westminster, saying that it could promote further separation.

None of the main parties has offered a recent opinion on the resolution of the “West Lothian Question”.

A Commons commission chaired by Sir William McKay, which began work in 2012, recommended that future legislation affecting England, but not other parts of the UK, should be required to have the majority support of MPs representing English constituencies.

However the issue was left undecided. Sir William accepted that future governments would prefer “compromise rather than conflict” in trying to resolve the political fall-out from further devolution.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?