Definition of the West Lothian Question from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the West Lothian Question

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a question originally asked by Labour MP Tam Dalyell, whose constituency in Scotland used to be called West Lothian. Before devolution, he asked how it could be right that a Scottish MP in the British parliament in London would be able to vote upon matters affecting English constituencies but that same MP could not vote on matters affecting his or her own constituency because they would be the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. Today, most people think that the question refers to the fact that Scottish MPs in London can still vote on English matters, while MPs from England have lost the power to influence Scottish affairs. Many politicians continue to disagree about the answer to this question, but some think that the best way to resolve it would be to reduce the number of Scottish MPs in the British parliament.