The National:

THE BBC has defended its decision of not including a pro-independence voice in a discussion on Good Morning Scotland of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL).

Tory minister Michael Gove has proposed scrapping the mechanism that means legislation affecting England alone must be approved by a majority of English MPs.

The measure, introduced in 2014 by then prime minister David Cameron after the independence referendum, has been accused of creating a second-tier of MPs at Westminster by the SNP.

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Gove is reportedly considering the change in a bid to boost support for the Union.

So, who did the BBC get on to discuss this possibility? Good Morning Scotland opted for LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael and Conservative Home's Henry Hill. 

The question was introduced: "Is Michael Gove about to deliver us from EVEL? I'm referring, of course, to English Laws for English Votes [sic]. It was brought in by the David Cameron government to prevent Scottish MPs voting on matters that did not affect Scotland.

The National:

"It now looks like Mr Gove is going to scrap the procedure. Is that a good thing, or does it mean that what's known as the West Lothian Question returns to cause problems?"

You'll notice a distinct absence of any mention of why this move is said to be happening – to boost the Union.

When we asked the BBC whether a pro-independence voice had been invited on, a spokesperson told us: "The topic of the item was English Votes for English Laws with contributors on from opposing positions to discuss it."

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Carmichael was for more federalism, whereas Hill defended the measure as the best option available. The other solution to this dilemma, of course, is Scotland going independent, but that viewpoint wasn't represented.

Instead, listeners were treated to attacks that went unanswered.

Explaining his position, Hill said: "It’s simply a fact that the debate on devolution in England isn’t where federalists would like it to be, England is under no obligation to come up with a system that sort-of mirrors those chosen by Scotland and Wales.

“Especially not for effectively so trivial a reason as Scottish and Welsh MPs don’t like having to crack on with case work when English-only legislation is in the chamber.”

Those lazy Scots and Welsh, eh? It’s a wonder they want us in the Union.

Carmichael, meanwhile, said: “The fair way to do this is for the UK as a whole to have a federal structure of government, something the Liberal Democrats have been promoting since I was a boy and even before that, and now a significant number of people like Gordon Brown…

“If the removal of EVEL precipitates a proper debate on that future structure for governance in England then that’s got to be a good thing.” 

More federalism. The Gordon Brown Scottish independence debate special.

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Setting out his position further, Hill said: “I think this is part of the problem. The idea that we should go through the vast expense and constitutional danger of bringing in an English parliament or revisit regional assemblies which English voters already rejected in the New Labour era – the idea that we need to do all of that just because Scottish and Welsh MPs don’t like the fact they have to sit out on an English education vote, is I think fairly ridiculous.

“The fact of the matter is the people of England are not obliged to come up with the same answer or even a similar answer to that Scotland or Wales came up with. English Votes for English Laws laws allows us… it’s the bare minimum to the answer to the West Lothian Question.”

It really is annoying having decisions foisted on you despite how you voted, isn’t it? For example, being forced out of the European Union despite every region in your nation voting against that.

Could the BBC host at least play devil’s advocate here? Apparently not…