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Constitutional Convention

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in light of recent discussions about the status of England within the United Kingdom, what plans they have to set up a constitutional convention to consider the position; and whether they will propose a referendum in England to test support for an English parliament.

Photo of Lord McNally Lord McNally Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords

My honourable friend the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform informed the other place on 15 December 2010 (Hansard col. 822W) that the Government will make an announcement about our plans to establish a commission to consider the West Lothian question-the term used to sum up existing arrangements which allow MPs representing constituencies from devolved territories to vote on English-only matters.

The Government are giving careful consideration to the timing, composition, scope and remit of the commission. Its work will need to take account of the proposals to reform this House to create a wholly or mainly elected second chamber, the changes being made to the way the other place does business and the amendments to the devolution regimes-for example, in the Scotland Bill presently before Parliament. We have no plans to propose a referendum in England.

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