The Prime Minister is holding a summit today to discuss constitutional reform.

Perhaps unwisely, the three pro-union parties have made commitments on further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Lord Smith of Kelvin has agreed to oversee the process to take forward the devolution commitments with a Heads of Agreement on powers over tax, spending and welfare by the end of November and draft legislation by the end of January.

On ‘English votes for English laws’

We also believe though that now is the time to introduce ‘English votes for English laws’.

If the Scottish Parliament will soon have a range of new powers: powers over income tax rates; to change benefits such as housing benefit; to increase spending, including on the NHS – then there is a need to reflect that across the UK.

Conservatives would like to work together on a cross party basis to make this happen.

But this issue must not be put into the long grass. If Labour refuse to work with us then they will have to explain to the people of the rest of the UK why they shouldn’t have the same powers as we are devolving to the people of Scotland.

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