In the latest general election fall out, we’ve heard today that the Queen’s Speech will be delayed beyond its planned date of Monday 19 June.
No doubt this gives Theresa May more time to finalise – and agree – the details of the DUP ‘confidence and supply’ deal, which will allow the Conservatives to govern.
As the deal continues to be fleshed out, commentators and housing professionals are scrambling to make sense of DUP policies – and understand what the effect, if any, could be on the housing sector.
But there’s more to consider than just the policies – including how the policies can get approved by parliament.
Over the past few days since the election, there’s been much debate about the impact of the new ‘English Votes for English Laws’ system (or EVEL). The new system, introduced by Cameron in 2015 hoped to tackle the age-old West Lothian Question – where Scottish, Welsh and NI MPs can vote on English only issues.
EVEL introduced a couple of new stages in the legislative process – mainly that Bills that refer to English only issues – or English and Welsh only issues – have to now be approved by a majority of MPs representing English (or English and Welsh) constituencies. Once approved, the Bill then has to be approved at the Third Reading, where MPs from other UK nations have the chance to vote on it too.
For May, this EVEL process could create problems – she lost seats in England but gained them in Scotland. Meaning that she could be in a situation where she is dependent on support from DUP MPs and Scottish Conservative MPs in order to get a Bill through its Third Reading.
However, her appetite for delivering any of these England and Wales – only policies is likely to be small.
Getting a good deal on Brexit – and not tarnishing the party’s reputation in the process – will be May’s key priorities.
So expect next week’s Queen’s Speech to be Brexit-heavy, with little or no mention of housing and welfare – and scant mention of wider manifesto pledges.
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