Friday morning, 9 o’clock- just a bit too early for N.Ireland’s MPs…

I’ve written before about Harriett Baldwin’s Legislation (Territorial Extent) Bill and in particular Ian Paisley Jr’s opposition to its provisions,  here

Amongst other things, the Bill relates to “the ‘West Lothian Question’, whereby Members representing constituencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may vote on legislation that applies only to England. If this were addressed by having a special way of voting on ‘England only’ legislation, then this Bill would provide a means of identifying some of those Bills”. 

As pointed out here, initially it wouldn’t prevent “non-English MPs voting on English-only legislation, it merely sought to clarify the territorial extent of bills (or clauses within bills) and the financial implications of that bill for the individual nations of the UK”. Nevertheless, if passed there would most probably be future implications for the United Kingdom’s form of governance and not necessarily in a way which would strengthen the Union. 

That being the case, the fact that only 69 MPs (including the Speakers and Tellers) bothered turning out for the Report Stage of Harriett Baldwin’s Bill was disgraceful… the fact that not one N.Irish (or Welsh for that matter) Unionist MP was amongst that figure is even more disappointing.

Fortunately for (but no thanks to) Ian Paisley Jr et al, it was defeated.

Unfortunately for him and Unionism generally, The West Lothian Question, however, remains.

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