The McKay Commission: Report of the Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 14 February 2014 | Standard notes SN06821

Amended 17 February 2014

Authors: Oonagh Gay

Topic: Devolution, Parliament

This Note looks at the McKay Commission: Report of the Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons which was published on 25 March 2013. The Commission had been established by the Coalition Government in January 2012 to consider how the House of Commons might deal with legislation which affects only part of the United Kingdom, following the devolution of certain legislative powers to the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly for Wales.

The report called for the adoption of a constitutional convention that decisions at the United Kingdom level with a separate and distinct effect for England (or for England-and-Wales) should normally be taken only with the consent of a majority of MPs for constituencies in England (or England-and-Wales). The report considered that the principle should be adopted by a resolution of the House of Commons. The report has not yet been implemented.

In 2013, the Scottish Government brought forward legislation to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in September 2014. The House of Lords Constitution Committee has announced an inquiry into the constitutional implications for the rest of the UK, should Scotland become independent. One of the key questions to be addressed by the Committee is “What would be the impact of Scottish independence on Scottish MPs and Members of the House of Lords?”

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