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Governing EnglandEnglish Identity and Institutions in a Changing United Kingdom$
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Michael Kenny, Iain McLean, and Akash Paun

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266465

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.001.0001

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Interpreting EVEL: Latest Station in the Conservative Party’s English Journey?

Interpreting EVEL: Latest Station in the Conservative Party’s English Journey?

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 Interpreting EVEL: Latest Station in the Conservative Party’s English Journey?
Source:
Governing England
Author(s):

Daniel Gover

Michael Kenny

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266465.003.0006

In October 2015, the Conservative Government introduced a reform to the procedures of the House of Commons known as ‘English votes for English laws’ (or EVEL). This chapter examines how the Conservative Party, which has historically been closely identified with unionism, became the architect of such a scheme. It documents how this topic emerged in political debate, following the implementation of devolution and, again, in the aftermath of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. And it analyses EVEL’s operation at Westminster in 2015–17, uncovering tensions within it that point to deeper strains within Conservative Party thinking. It concludes that EVEL needs to be understood not only as a response to the ‘West Lothian Question’, but also in relation to a longer-term disjuncture in the Conservative psyche arising from two competing conceptions of the nature and purpose of union.

Keywords:   Conservative Party, Devolution, English votes for English laws, EVEL, House of Commons, Scottish independence referendum, West Lothian Question, Westminster

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