CHAPTER 3: CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS IN
THE DRAFT CLAUSES |
50. In this chapter, we address the explicitly
constitutional proposals of the Smith Commission and how they
are reflected in Scotland in the United Kingdom and Part
1 of the Draft Clauses.
SPECIFIC ISSUES NOT COVERED IN THE
51. We note as an initial observation that the
Command Paper has little to say about the 'Barnett Formula' system
of allocating funding or the 'West Lothian Question'/'English
Votes for English Laws' issue.
The party leaders' pre-referendum agreement committed the pro-union
parties to the continuation of the Barnett Formula, a position
also reflected in the Smith Commission's Report.
There have been many criticisms of the Barnett Formula. This report
is not the place to rehearse those arguments, but we are concerned
by the failure to address that element of the funding of devolved
administrations while significant changes are being made to other
elements of the funding arrangements for Scotland. What is clear
is that the changes to income tax in Scotland will reduce significantly
the size of the block grant to Scotland and therefore the impact
of the Barnett formula.
52. In December 2014, the UK Government published
a Command Paper on The Implications of Devolution for England.
That paper addresses some of the issues for England of the current
devolution settlements and sets out the views of the two coalition
parties and calls for responses to be directed to them, rather
than to the Government. As such it appears to be a mechanism for
developing party policy rather than forming a consensus view or
Government position. The Conservative Party subsequently announced
its preference for one of the three options it put forward.
The Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party have not announced
any further development of their policies on this issue.
THE DEVOLUTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL
53. The Draft Clauses contain a number of proposals
for the devolution of constitutional powers to the Scottish Parliament
that would not have a direct constitutional impact outside Scotland,
but which could have a knock-on effect on other devolved settlements
or on the UK constitution as a whole. To some extent this is to
be welcomed, in thatas with other policy areasdevolution
allows for variation between different parts of the UK that could
lead to the adoption of successful policies in other parts of
54. While variation of policies is welcome in
some areas, it remains the case that some powers are reserved
in order to maintain consistency across the United Kingdom.
In particular, we are concerned that the devolution of constitutional
powersfor example, over the franchiserisks introducing
variation where there should be none. Where that line should be
drawn on constitutional matters should be a matter for general
discussion and decided on a UK-wide basis. As Dr Elliott
"One of the points of devolution is that
different parts of the country are supposed to be able to do things
differentlybe that on prescription charges, tuition fees
or whatever. The question arises as to whether we reach a point
at which we say that certain constitutional changes are so significant
and cross-cutting that it does not make sense to deal with them
on a devolved basis."
55. We do not make any recommendations at this
stage on the devolution of particular constitutional decisions
to the Scottish Parliament, but we note with concern that a wider
discussion about the most appropriate level of devolution for
constitutional issues was not held. This risks a piecemeal approach
to constitutional change (as discussed in Chapter 2) on the basis
of other devolved legislatures each seeking to catch up with Scotland,
rather than changes following a nationwide debate and agreed principles.
We have already seen a commitment by the UK Government to devolve
to the National Assembly for Wales many of the constitutional
powers promised for the Scottish Parliament in Scotland in
the United Kingdom.
Permanence of the Scottish Parliament
56. Draft Clause 1 provides for the 1998
Act to be amended to embody the Smith Commission's recommendation
that "UK legislation will state that the Scottish Parliament
and Scottish Government are permanent institutions."
57. Section 1(1) of the 1998 Act, which states
that "There shall be a Scottish Parliament",
would be followed by the statement:
"A Scottish Parliament is recognised as
a permanent part of the United Kingdom's constitutional arrangements."
58. A similar provision inserted into section
44 of the 1998 Act would also recognise the Scottish Government
59. Parliamentary sovereignty is the defining
principle of the United Kingdom's constitution. By this principle,
Parliament's law-making power is not subject to any permanent
restrictions, and therefore Parliament cannot bind its successors.
The Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government are created by
statute (the Scotland Act 1998 as amended by the Scotland Act
2012) and hence subordinate to Westminster.
60. As a matter of constitutional law, Parliament
has the power unilaterally to amend the Scottish Parliament's
powers (as the current process demonstrates) or to abolish these
institutions altogether. In political terms the latter scenario
is of course most unlikely, but as a matter of constitutional
law the question arises as to whether the proposal to make the
Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government 'permanent' is an
attempt to restrict the legal power of a future Parliament, and
if so, how such a measure would be effective. If it is not intended
to have legal power, it may be wondered what its effect would
be, as the 1998 Act is already considered to be a constitutional
statute, cited in significant court judgments as not being liable
to implied repeal (most prominently, by Lord Justice Laws
in Thoburn v Sunderland City Council and Lord Hope
of Craighead in BH v Advocate General).
61. The draft clause faithfully reproduces the
Smith Commission's recommendation.
Lord Smith of Kelvin told the Scottish Parliament's Devolution
(Further Powers) Committee that he was aware that a new Scotland
Bill could not bind future Parliaments, but said that "we
intend the law to be written in such a way that a plague of boils
or something will break out if anyone ever" tried to abolish
the Scottish Parliament.
The clear intent, then, was for a political entrenchment rather
than a constitutional one. The Advocate General for Scotland acknowledged
that, "In the last 16 years, there has been no question but
that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are permanent
and should be permanent institutions".
However, he told us that the Smith Commission's recommendation
was "a very good signal of'intent' is not quite the
right wordrecognition, perhaps, of the central importance
of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government in the
United Kingdom's constitutional arrangements."
As Dr Elliott told us: "It is a statement in a statutory
text of a political reality".
62. There is a question as to whether Draft Clause
1 might be open to differing interpretations. Lord Hope of
Craighead, at the time Deputy President of the Supreme Court,
described the Scottish Parliament in a key constitutional case
This appears to be a markedly different understanding from that
which considers the Scottish Parliament simply to be a creation
of Westminster legislation. Lord Hope of Craighead has previously
stated that: "Step by step, gradually but surely, the English
principle of the absolute legislative sovereignty of Parliament
is being qualified,"
and ruled that Acts of the Scottish Parliament which are within
competence enjoy "the highest legal authority".
Professor Adam Tomkins, John Millar Chair of Public Law at
the University of Glasgow, has argued that Lord Hope is placing
"Holyrood legislation and Westminster statutes on the same
63. If there are different interpretations as
to the status of the Scottish Parliament in its present constitutional
configuration then it is not implausible that Clause 1 could be
interpreted by certain judges to be a form of entrenchment that
could not then be repealed by Westminster legislation without
the consent either of the Scottish Parliament or the Scottish
people voting in a referendum.
64. It is a fundamental principle of the UK constitution
that Parliament is sovereign and that no Parliament may bind its
successors. It is clear that Draft Clause 1 is designed to be
a political and symbolic affirmation of the permanence of the
Scottish Parliament and Government. While we do not consider that
it imposes any legal or constitutional restriction on the power
of the UK Parliament, it does create the potential for misunderstanding
or conflict over the legal status of the Scottish Parliament which
may result in legal friction in the future.
65. The UK Government's February 2015 announcement
on Welsh devolution included the suggestion of a similar statement
of the permanence of the National Assembly and the Welsh Government
in statute. This
would seem to raise the same constitutional issues we draw attention
to above in relation to Scotland. The situation in Northern Ireland
is different, however: the Belfast Agreement represents a delicate
settlement, also involving the Republic of Ireland, and Parliament
should take care to ensure that any change in the constitutional
status of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government does
not in any way unsettle the arrangements for Northern Ireland.
Putting the Sewel convention
on a statutory footing
66. The Scotland Act 1998 states that the powers
of the Scottish Parliament do not affect the power of the Parliament
of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland. This means that
Parliament retains the power to legislate for Scotland in devolved
as well as reserved matters. However, during the passage of that
Act, Lord Sewel, the Scotland Office minister responsible
for the passage of the Act in the House of Lords, announced that
the Government "would expect a convention to be established
that Westminster would not normally legislate with regard to devolved
matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Parliament."
This became known as the 'Sewel convention'.
67. This commitment is repeated more fully in
the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and
the devolved administrations:
"The United Kingdom Parliament retains authority
to legislate on any issue, whether devolved or not. It is ultimately
for Parliament to decide what use to make of that power. However,
the UK Government will proceed in accordance with the convention
that the UK Parliament would not normally legislate with regard
to devolved matters except with the agreement of the devolved
legislature. The devolved administrations will be responsible
for seeking such agreement as may be required for this purpose
on an approach from the UK Government."
68. As a consequence of this convention it has
become standard practice that, where the Scottish Government agrees
with the UK Government that a Westminster Bill should include
provisions on devolved matters, Scottish Ministers will promote
a Legislative Consent Motion in the Scottish Parliament, consenting
to the UK Government legislating in devolved areas. The convention
and the Memorandum are not legally binding.
69. The use of the convention also seems increasingly
to extend even to certain reserved matters. As the Scottish Government
puts it, it now covers matters "which, although reserved,
affect the breadth of the devolved institutions' powers-i.e. the
legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or the executive
competence of the Scottish Ministers."
70. Draft Clause 2 would fulfil the
Smith Commission's recommendation that "The Sewel convention
will be put on a statutory footing".
Section 28 of the 1998 Act gives the Scottish Parliament the power
to make laws; it currently concludes with section 28(7), which
confirms Parliament's enduring power to legislate even in devolved
matters: "This section does not affect the power of the Parliament
of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland".
71. Draft Clause 2 would introduce a new section
28(8), which would read:
"But it is recognised that the Parliament
of the United Kingdom will not normally legislate with regard
to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament."
72. Although in this way the Sewel convention
will be put on a statutory footing, the measure seems to have
only symbolic significance, consolidating the idea that Scottish
devolution is a permanent arrangement, the terms of which will
not be changed unilaterally by the UK Parliament. Aside from the
general rule that Parliament is unable to bind its successors
(see paragraph 59 above), the use of the word 'normally'
(which is unusual in legislation and is undefined) seems to make
clear that Parliament will still have the legal power to legislate
for Scotland, even on devolved matters, without the consent of
the Scottish Parliament. Therefore, it can be said that the new
provision will recognise the existence of the Sewel convention
rather than turn it into a legally binding principle.
73. Nonetheless, since this provision will at
the very least strengthen the political commitment inherent in
the Sewel convention, it can be said that the powers of the Scottish
Parliament would be, in political terms, more firmly beyond the
unilateral competence of the UK Parliament than ever before. Professor Keating
told us that the division of competences between layers of government
and the recognition of that division were central to federalism
and he felt that the UK now has "some kind of federal system".
It could be argued that Draft Clauses 1 and 2, in political terms
if not legal ones,
are moving the United Kingdom in a federal direction.
74. Others argued that this was another step
towards an overall legalisation of the UK's constitution.
Hugh Rawlings, Director of Constitutional Affairs in the Welsh
Government, told us that "as a result of the Smith Commission
we seem to be moving towards greater legalisation of the UK constitution
are we, as appears to be [the case] at the moment, perhaps
looking at legalisation of particular aspects of the constitution
without regard for wider issues?"
75. Although it may have little, or no, legal
effect this draft clause would risk introducing a perception that
the validity of laws passed by the UK Government would be justiciable
should they contravene (or be argued to contravene) the Sewel
Convention as set out in statute. It is extremely unlikely that
any attempt to challenge legislation in the courts on this basis
would succeed in
the light of Parliament's enduring sovereignty and the fact that
the passage of legislation itself is protected from judicial interference
by parliamentary privilege.
It is nonetheless possible that a challenge might be made, drawing
the courts unnecessarily into an area that has hitherto worked
well on a conventional basis. This clause is also among those
that the UK Government has proposed should be repeated in legislation
relating to Wales.
76. As with Draft Clause 1, Draft Clause 2 seems
unlikely to have any legal effect and is purely a declaratory
statement of intent, restating the existing Sewel convention rather
than attempting to make it enforceable.
77. Nonetheless, we note that both these draft
clauses appear to be moving the United Kingdom in a federal direction,
attempting to crystallise by way of statute, if not a written
constitution, the status and powers of the devolved institutions
in a way that has hitherto not been the case. We would welcome
a clarification from the Government as to whether this was their
intention. This is a matter that we trust will receive further
scrutiny by the House when a Scotland Bill is introduced in the
Powers over the composition of
the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government
78. The Smith Commission recommended that the
Scottish Parliament be given powers over its overall number of
Members (MSPs) or the number of constituency and list MSPs, and
powers over the disqualification of MSPs from membership and the
circumstances in which a sitting MSP can be removed.
79. Draft Clause 3 proposes to extend
broad competences to the Scottish Parliament on matters relating
to the operation of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.
It does this by amending paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 to the
1998 Act to add the operation of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish
Government to the list of sections of the Act that the Scottish
Parliament can modify.
The aim is to provide the Scottish Parliament "with a greater
role in setting its own internal arrangements and those of the
Included among these new competences is the power to regulate
both numbers of MSPs and rules on their disqualification.
80. Since the proposals simply extend the power
of the Scottish Parliament to regulate its own membership they
do not seem to have further direct constitutional implications
for the UK as a whole.
81. The provisions may, however, have indirect
implications. In general, again, these powers may well lead to
demands by the other devolved legislatures to get more control
over their own composition, including the power to vary the size
of these legislatures. The UK Government's February 2015 Command
Paper on Welsh devolution states its support for devolving similar
powers to the National Assembly over its membership and elections
as have been promised for Scotland.
82. Specific consideration should be given to
how these powers relate to the Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15.
Were the Scottish Parliament to introduce radical new approaches
to disqualification or removal of MSPs, very different from any
provisions adopted by Parliament, would the Scottish regime create
pressure for further reform of the UK Parliament or the other
83. Draft Clauses 5-9 propose powers for
the Scottish Parliament over the administration and conduct of
Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland,
electoral franchise and registration, campaign and controlled
expenditure, the Electoral Commission and the Boundary Commission
for Scotland in relation to Scottish Parliament constituency boundaries.
84. These proposals build upon the additional
powers (not yet in effect) over the conduct of elections accorded
to the Scottish Ministers in the Scotland Act 2012.
Powers over the conduct of elections were recommended by the Smith
the provisions set out in Draft Clauses 5-9 are considerably
more detailed than the treatment they received in the Commission's
85. Notably, Draft Clause 6 provides for
legislative competence in relation to the franchise for elections
to the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in Scotland
to be devolved. This provision has been preceded by a statutory
instrument allowing the Scottish Parliament to enfranchise 16
and 17 year olds in time for the next round of these elections
in May 2016 and May 2017 respectively.
As noted in our report on the draft statutory instrument,
the provision for control over the franchise for local government
elections in Scotland goes beyond the Smith Agreement, albeit
for understandable reasons.
Draft Clause 6 would give the Scottish Parliament much wider powers
to vary the franchise for these elections; the franchise age is
the most prominent element of this, but it could presumably allow
variation in the enfranchisement or otherwise of non-British citizens
living in Scotland,
and of British citizens living abroad who were previously electors
in Scotland. The
UK Government has proposed that the National Assembly for Wales
should have the same powers over the franchise as the Scottish
86. If there are elements of the constitution
that should not be devolved so as to ensure consistency across
the UK (see paragraph 54 above), it could be argued that
the franchise should be one of them. It may appear incongruous
if new categories of person are enabled to vote in Scottish Parliament
and local government elections but not in Westminster elections
or local government elections outside of Scotland. This may pressurise
Parliament to make similar adjustments to the franchise for UK
elections to maintain consistency across the UK. There is an argument
that fundamental changes to the franchise should result instead
from a UK-wide debate about what the franchise should be, or a
more principled delineation of which body or bodies should have
the power to decide the franchise for different polls. That this
power has been partially devolved in Scotland without such a debate,
and that further powers would be devolved under this draft clause
and the proposals for Welsh devolution, are symptoms of devolution
being treated in a piecemeal manner, without proper consideration
of the wider UK constitution. As we noted in our report on the
draft statutory instrument, this process stands in contrast to
the change in the voting age in the UK in the 1960s, which followed
two Commission reports, and the consideration of the issue by
a Constitutional Convention in the Republic of Ireland.
87. We note again our concern that power over
constitutional matters is being devolved with no discussion as
to whether such fundamental constitutional issues are better dealt
with in a consistent manner across the UK.
88. A particular difficulty that may arise relates
to prisoner voting rights and the European Convention on Human
Rights. The Scottish Parliament cannot make laws that are incompatible
with Convention rights.
Given that the UK's current blanket ban on prisoners voting is
deemed to be in contravention of the Convention,
there is a risk that any future legislation by the Scottish Parliament
that purports to extend the franchise but which does not enfranchise
prisoners in line with the recent judgments taken by the European
Court of Human Rights
would itself be incompatible with Convention rights and could
be struck down. The
Scottish Parliament may find its ability to amend the franchise
for Scottish parliamentary and local government elections constrained
by its human rights obligations. The UK Government should set
out its view of how these powers could be exercised within the
Scottish Parliament's restricted competence.
89. Draft Clause 7 would extend the legislative
competence of the Scottish Parliament to include campaign expenditure
and controlled expenditure in relation to elections to the Scottish
Parliament, and allow the Scottish Parliament to amend the rules
for campaigning by political parties and non-party campaigners
in the run-up to Scottish Parliament elections. There are, however,
important limits. For example, the regulation of political parties,
including donations to political parties, would remain reserved.
Also, as stated in Scotland in the United Kingdom, "UK
legislation will prevent the Scottish Parliament deciding that
general elections should be held on the same day as general elections
to the UK Parliament, European Parliament or local government
elections in Scotland".
90. Since these powers affect Scottish elections
and the powers of the Scottish Parliament only, they will not
have direct constitutional implications for the wider UK. These
powers are among those that the UK Government supports being devolved
to the National Assembly for Wales.
91. As noted in Chapter 2, consultation is a
vital part of an effective process for constitutional change.
When bringing forward a bill implementing these Draft Clauses,
the Government should set out the extent to which the views of
the Electoral Commission, Scottish Assessors Association, Boundary
Commission and Local Government Boundary Commission have been
taken into account in formulating these proposals and in considering
possible unforeseen consequences. Similarly, the views of the
Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission should be sought as
to how these proposals relate to the recent major inquiry into
electoral law and practice conducted by the Commissions.
92. One notable provision of constitutional significance
is Draft Clause 4. This would require certain types of
electoral legislationlegislation amending the franchise,
the electoral system or the number of constituency and regional
members for the Scottish Parliamentto be passed by a "super-majority",
i.e. a two-thirds majority of the Scottish Parliament.
One aim is to ensure that electoral laws are not changed for the
advantage of a particular party. The UK Parliament is able to
impose such a measure upon a subordinate legislature which will
be bound by this in law; it does not purport to affect the legislative
power of the UK Parliament itself. As with other provisions in
the Draft Clauses, this may lead to calls for similar provisions
for the UK Parliament,
although any such move would be limited by the fact that one Parliament
cannot bind its successors.
In our report on the Process of Constitutional Change, we did
not recommend that any new parliamentary procedures such as super-majorities
should be introduced for constitutional legislation in the UK
49 We also noted the absence of any provisions relating
to these issues in our report on the last Scotland Bill: Constitution
Committee, Scotland Bill (17th Report, Session 2010-12,
HL Paper 184), para 31. Back
Smith Commission, Report, para 95(1) Back
First Secretary of State, The Implications of Devolution for
England, Cm 8969, December 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implications-of-devolution-for-england
[accessed 17 March 2015] Back
'William Hague unveils plans to stop Scottish MPs voting
on English issues', The Guardian, 3 February 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/03/william-hague-plan-bar-scottish-mps-voting-english-issues
[accessed 25 February 2015] Back
The UK Government list of "Issues to be Considered in moving
from a Conferred to a Reserved Powers Model" starts with
a similar point about where consistency is needed: Powers for
a purpose, Annex D. Back
Powers for a purpose, Chapter 2 Back
Smith Commission, Report, para 21 Back
Scotland Act 1998, section 1(1) Back
Thoburn v Sunderland City Council  EWHC 195 (Admin);
BH & Anor v The Lord Advocate & Anor (Scotland)
 UKSC 24 Back
Smith Commission, Report, para 21. Lord Smith's foreword
was phrased differently; the Draft Clause reflects the recommendation
rather than the foreword. Back
Oral evidence taken before the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee
of the Scottish Parliament, 2 December 2014 Back
Oral evidence taken on 11 February 2015 (Session 2014-15), Q86;
see also Q9 (Dr Mark Elliott) Back
Oral evidence taken on 11 February 2015 (Session 2014-15), Q86 Back
AXA General Insurance v Lord Advocate  UKSC
46, para 46 Back
Jackson v Attorney General  1AC 262, per L Hope
at p 303 para 104 Back
AXA General Insurance v Lord Advocate  UKSC
46, para 46 Back
Adam Tomkins, 'Confusion and Retreat: The Supreme Court on Devolution',
UK Constitutional. Law Association Blog, 19th Feb 2015: http://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2015/02/19/adam-tomkins-confusion-and-retreat-the-supreme-court-on-devolution/
[accessed 2 March 2015] Back
Powers for a purpose, para 2.2.4 Back
HL Deb, 21 July 1998, col 791 Back
Cabinet Office, 'Devolution: Memorandum of Understanding and
Supplementary Agreements Between the United Kingdom Government,
the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers, and the Northern
Ireland Executive Committee', October 2013, para 14: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/
[accessed 17 March 2015] Back
Key Facts on the Sewel Convention: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Government/Sewel/KeyFacts
[accessed 25 February 2015] Back
Smith Commission, Report, para 22 Back
Q4 (Dr Mark Elliott) Back
Written evidence on inter-governmental relations from Dr Andrew
Blick (IGR0006) Back
Oral evidence taken on 21 January 2015 (Session 2014-15), Q54 Back
Q9 (Dr Mark Elliott) Back
As recently confirmed by the Supreme Court in R (HS2 Action
Alliance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport  UKSC
Powers for a purpose, 2.3.10 Back
Smith Commission, Report, para 26 Back
Scotland in the United Kingdom, para 1.3.1 Back
Scotland in the United Kingdom, para 1.3.2 Back
Powers for a purpose, paras 2.2.10-2.2.17 Back
Recall ofMPs Bill [HL Bill 94 (2014-15)] Back
Scotland Act 2012, Part 1 'The Parliament and its powers' Back
Smith Commission, Report, paras 23 and 24(4) Back
Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedules 4 and 5 and Transfer
of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2015 Back
Constitution Committee, Draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedules 4 and 5 and Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2015
(9th Report, Session 2014-15, HL Paper 119) Back
See HL Deb, 26 February 2015, cols 1769-70 Back
The Scottish Parliament's franchise currently includes all EU
citizens and those Commonwealth citizens with the right to remain
in the country; the UK parliamentary franchise does not include
most non-British EU citizens. Back
At present Britons are able to register as electors for the first
fifteen years after they were last registered at a UK address. Back
Powers for a purpose, para 2.2.15 Back
Constitution Committee, Draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedules 4 and 5 and Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2015,
para 10. In the Republic of Ireland, a referendum is due to be
held on the voting age, a requirement for amendments to the country's
Scotland Act 1998, section 29(2)(d); the same restriction applies
to the National Assembly for Wales under the Government of Wales
Act 2006, section 81. Back
See Joint Committee on the Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners)
Bill, Draft Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill, (Report,
Session 2013-14, HL Paper 103, HC 924), Chapter 3 Back
Scoppola v Italy (No.3), 22 May 2012; and see Frith
and others v UK, August 2014 and McHugh and others v UK,
February 2015. Back
As shown in the UK Government's inability issue to a Human Rights
Act s.19 'statement of compatibility' in relation to the House of Lords Reform Bill
[Bill 52 (2012-13)] because it dealt, in part, with the franchise. Back
Scotland in the United Kingdom, para 1.4.4. See also Smith
Commission, Report, para 24(4) Back
Wales Office, Powers for a purpose, paras 2.2.10-2.2.17 Back
See Smith Commission, Report, para 27 Back
See Q8 (Dr Mark Elliott) Back
The UK Parliament has included a two-thirds majority requirement
in section 2 of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (required
to call an early election without a vote of no confidence in the
Government). There are key differences however: the super-majority
does not relate to a stage in the law-making process; and the
UK Parliament could, with a simple majority, remove the requirement
for the super-majority, while the Scottish Parliament could not
remove the super-majority requirement in Draft Clause 4. Back
Constitution Committee, The Process of Constitutional Change,
para 99 Back