The Speaker must examine every statutory instrument which is considered in the Chamber, or in a Delegated Legislation Committee, to see whether it needs to be certified under the EVEL process as relating exclusively to England or England and Wales. For EVEL to apply, two tests must be met.
If a statutory instrument is made under an Act which resulted from a Finance Bill, or a provision of an Act which could have been in a Finance Bill, the Speaker must also certify it if it relates exclusively to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Parliament could make corresponding provision for Scotland. This means statutory instruments that make provision about taxes for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, when the Scottish Parliament has the comparable power for the equivalent tax in Scotland.
If there’s a vote in the Chamber on a statutory instrument that the Speaker has certified, it needs to be agreed by a double majority. The motions that are most likely to be subject to a double majority vote are motions to approve a statutory instrument, and motions to annul a statutory instrument.
Some other motions are automatically subject to a double majority vote, without the Speaker having to certify anything. They are motions to approve:
- local government finance reports
- council tax increase referendum reports
- police grant reports
- an increase in university tuition fees (and amendments to such motions)
These motions are treated as relating exclusively to England, except motions to approve police grant reports, which are treated as relating exclusively to England and Wales.