Sunday, 6 February 2011

Reply from Helen-Mary Jones AM

Dear Andrew,
Thank you for your message.
I am, of course, fully aware of the exact constitutional position, but it is rather hard using the term "the UK parliament legislating on England only matters"' or "the UK government acting on England only matters" each time one has to make a distinction between England only policies and those of devolved governments. English Parliament or English government is useful shorthand.
I cannot speak for other nationalists on this but it is my personal belief that it is most unfair for MPs from Scotland to vote on matters that have no effect on their constituents and only on communities in England. I will feel the same way about MPs representing Welsh constituencies if the referendum on March 3rd is passed and the National Assembly's lawmaking powers are effectively clarified. In this context I am pleased with the decision of my colleagues in Westminster, the Plaid Cymru MPs who have not spoken or voted on England only matters since devolution. I support the idea of an English Parliament in principal, though I can understand that at this point there would be some difficulty in putting this in to practice because the current model of devolution is so asymmetric, with each of the three devolved administrations having such different powers. Hopefully that will change.
I hope this clarifies position on this matter.
Yours sincerely
Helen Mary Jones AM
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