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DanE1998
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The Office of the Secretary of State for Devolution, Constitutional Reform, Communities and Local Government

Dear Honourable Members,

The decision has been taken, by SOI between PM RayApparently & myself, to involve the whole house in pre-legislative debate in regard to the West Lothian Bill 2015.

This bill, aims to assist in the solution of the West Lothian Question. The question refers to whether MPs from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, sitting in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, should be able to vote on matters that affect only England.

Currently, our proposed solution aims to devolve certain legislative powers to regional areas.

The suggested devolution, concerns the following powers:

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Environment
Health and Social Services
Housing
Law and Order
Local government
Sport and Arts
Tourism and Economic Development
Transport

The decision was taken not to consider devolving education to these regional bodies because of the conflicts which could be created in terms of qualifications and standards. Doing this would hamper the geographic mobility of the English workforce. This is better than English votes for English laws, because one need not tie up the Palace of Westminster. Furthermore, it would give the electorate the ability to become much closer to politics and their local communities.

What would be your opinion of a bill of this nature?
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Tahret
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For areas that are not devolved, will English votes for English laws still apply? Such as for education etc.

RayApparently
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thehistorybore
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I would not support a Bill of this nature.
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RayApparently
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I'm interested to see what the House thinks.
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Rakas21
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Pretty some of those are already devolved and indeed i want stuff like health and education back in Westminster.

I would oppose any amplification of legal and eventual cultural division via segmenting parliament in any way. We are one United Kingdom (though i note that members of your government would gladly tear Northern Ireland from the UK) and must remain so.
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Blue Meltwater
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I'm very pleased the government has decided to begin with a consultation on this very important issue.

I approve of much of the bill in its current form. I'm not convinced by the argument about excluding education - as far as I'm aware, there's no issue with using Scottish qualifications in the rest of the country, and vice versa - but this wouldn't prevent me voting for the bill.

What might be a more important issue is whether there are referenda for these proposals. I support them, but the people of England may not - would it be fair to implement this if it were to be against their wishes?
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DanE1998
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(Original post by Burford99)
For areas that are not devolved, will English votes for English laws still apply? Such as for education etc.

RayApparently
I will discuss this with Ray and get back to you.

(Original post by Blue Meltwater)
I'm very pleased the government has decided to begin with a consultation on this very important issue.

I approve of much of the bill in its current form. I'm not convinced by the argument about excluding education - as far as I'm aware, there's no issue with using Scottish qualifications in the rest of the country, and vice versa - but this wouldn't prevent me voting for the bill.

What might be a more important issue is whether there are referenda for these proposals. I support them, but the people of England may not - would it be fair to implement this if it were to be against their wishes?
The problem is if you have too many different qualifications, it will be a problem for employers. The Scottish system works because it is a constituent country rather than region. In my opinion
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Blue Meltwater)
I'm very pleased the government has decided to begin with a consultation on this very important issue.

I approve of much of the bill in its current form. I'm not convinced by the argument about excluding education - as far as I'm aware, there's no issue with using Scottish qualifications in the rest of the country, and vice versa - but this wouldn't prevent me voting for the bill.

What might be a more important issue is whether there are referenda for these proposals. I support them, but the people of England may not - would it be fair to implement this if it were to be against their wishes?
While i don't have a problem with differing qualifications, i do think the curriculum should stay with Westminster. Like the Welsh government, the Scottish government has apparently asked teachers to teach more Gaelic and that is nothing more than an attempt to sow further division.
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DanE1998
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(Original post by Rakas21)
While i don't have a problem with differing qualifications, i do think the curriculum should stay with Westminster. Like the Welsh government, the Scottish government has apparently asked teachers to teach more Gaelic and that is nothing more than an attempt to sow further division.
I will discuss with the Secretary of State for Education and let you know the outcome.
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I believe it is correct to remove education from devolved bodies. This way standards can be maintained and we will not see different regions competing rather than working together.

It will also make it easier for this government to pass meaningful reform that can benefit the whole nation.

Of course provisions should be made to allow the teaching of regional dialects in any legislation regarding education
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Blue Meltwater)
I'm very pleased the government has decided to begin with a consultation on this very important issue.

I approve of much of the bill in its current form. I'm not convinced by the argument about excluding education - as far as I'm aware, there's no issue with using Scottish qualifications in the rest of the country, and vice versa - but this wouldn't prevent me voting for the bill.

What might be a more important issue is whether there are referenda for these proposals. I support them, but the people of England may not - would it be fair to implement this if it were to be against their wishes?
Scottish qualifications are clearly separate and long predate devolution to Scotland.

We will see a test however in the next few years as England and Wales start to drift away from each other in terms of qualifications, whilst keeping the same names. I don't want to see that, as the WAG have proven themselves incapable of running a decent education system in the past, and I wouldn't trust them with absolute control of qualifications (case in point: the Welsh Bacc).
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(Original post by honeywell17)
I believe it is correct to remove education from devolved bodies. This way standards can be maintained and we will not see different regions competing rather than working together.

It will also make it easier for this government to pass meaningful reform that can benefit the whole nation.

Of course provisions should be made to allow the teaching of regional dialects in any legislation regarding education
I would oppose any such bill.

While i have no issue with a parent choosing to pay for some Gaelic/Welsh language classes (perhaps after school or at a community center), the state should be encouraging harmony where possible rather than fostering cultural division.

We are one United Kingdom.
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I would oppose any such bill.

While i have no issue with a parent choosing to pay for some Gaelic/Welsh language classes (perhaps after school or at a community center), the state should be encouraging harmony where possible rather than fostering cultural division.

We are one United Kingdom.
Just to remind you that the teaching of Welsh does not mean that English isn't taught too.
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honeywell17
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I would oppose any such bill.

While i have no issue with a parent choosing to pay for some Gaelic/Welsh language classes (perhaps after school or at a community center), the state should be encouraging harmony where possible rather than fostering cultural division.

We are one United Kingdom.
I completely disagree. Yes we are one United kingdom, but we are a kingdom of many cultures and we must celebrate diversity not tear it apart.
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Blue Meltwater
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(Original post by honeywell17)
I completely disagree. Yes we are one United kingdom, but we are a kingdom of many cultures and we must celebrate diversity not tear it apart.
Yes, I agree completely. With that said, I can appreciate the concerns that cultures may be promoted for political purposes, e.g. teaching Gaelic in parts of Scotland where it has limited historical prevalence in order to create an artificial sense of 'Scottishness'. Though that's not unique to devolved institutions - the fact the majority of people in Wales and Scotland speak English as a first language is due to successful British nationalist statebuilding over the centuries.
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The issue comes when Northern Irish bills are being debated on by British Mps.
Surely if English Mps are the only ones voting on English legislation, it should be the same for our wee country!
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DanE1998
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By not endorsing cultures, we will destroy them. I want to keep UK as diverse as possible, in this regard as possible. Why should we make dialogues extinct by not teaching them?
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DanE1998
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(Original post by adam9317)
The issue comes when Northern Irish bills are being debated on by British Mps.
Surely if English Mps are the only ones voting on English legislation, it should be the same for our wee country!
I'm inclined to agree that Wales and Northern Ireland should be included as part of this devolution. They would keep any previously devolved powers, so as not to break the GF Agreement
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adam9317
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(Original post by DanE1998)
I'm inclined to agree that Wales and Northern Ireland should be included as part of this devolution. They would keep any previously devolved powers, so as not to break the GF Agreement
Oh no no, you wouldn't want to break it!

You may have half the community revolt- although being from NI, im not too sure if I agree with it or not!
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Pretty some of those are already devolved and indeed i want stuff like health and education back in Westminster.

I would oppose any amplification of legal and eventual cultural division via segmenting parliament in any way. We are one United Kingdom (though i note that members of your government would gladly tear Northern Ireland from the UK) and must remain so.
*waves* Hi!

(Original post by Rakas21)
I would oppose any such bill.

While i have no issue with a parent choosing to pay for some Gaelic/Welsh language classes (perhaps after school or at a community center), the state should be encouraging harmony where possible rather than fostering cultural division.

We are one United Kingdom.
I must say I'm not happy with this. I took GCSE Irish. My brother went to an Irish speaking nursery and primary school. Just because we live in N.I under Westminster rule does not mean I should be banned from learning about my heritage if I please at a centre of education ie school. What would you do, ban Irish history that concerns down south in N.I because it doesn't primarily focus on Ulster?

(Also, call it Irish. That's the name. Unless you say Gaeilge, which is Irish for Irish, and more commonly used than Gaelic. It's pronounced the same.)
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