Another Conservative proposal on solving the West Lothian Question is that of Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster.
His proposal is a simple federal system. Each country has its own Parliament handling devolved issues. In this case, the English Parliament would be the House of Commons.
The House of Lords would be scrapped.
Then each parliament sends representatives to the UK Parliament to discuss the non-devolved issues; for instance defence and foreign policy.
These representatives meet in the old House of Lords.
Mr. Field’s proposals seem logical and sensible. However I think they would fall apart in the detail.
A Field of Dreams then?
The Commons has been slow to change the House of Lords. I do not think that the House of Lords is in danger of being abolished any time soon.
If the Commons (the new English Parliament) has no second chamber than its EMPs must be prepared to do more work at committee level to scutinize the proposed legislation, as the Scottish Parliament already does.
If the new House of Lords (the new UK Parliament) receives EMPs from the English Parliament, MSPs from Scotland, and AMs from Wales and Northern Ireland – won’t these members be needed by their own Parliaments and parties in their own parliament? It may be a simple matter of walking for the EMPs but those members outwith England are at a disadvantage.
Who would be Prime Minister of the UK in such a setup? How many members does each country get to send?
These and many more details would need to be addressed for Mr. Field’s plans to be accepted. Whilst each detail could be eventually agreed on by the countries, I would be surprised if the political will is there for this Field of Dreams to ever materialise.