Emergency debates

An emergency debate is a debate called at short notice in the House of Commons on a matter that should have urgent consideration.

How is an emergency debate arranged?

An MP may apply to the Speaker for an emergency debate on Mondays to Thursdays during sitting time under the rules of Standing Order No. 24.

If the Speaker has given the MP leave they will have three minutes to make a speech after question time and any urgent questions or ministerial statements. The Speaker then decides whether to submit the application to the House.

The House will have to agree that the debate takes place. If the House agrees to the application the emergency debate will take place on a future day, usually the next sitting day. The motion to be debated will be "That the House has considered the matter of [Topic]".

Where can I find a list of emergency debates?

You can find a list of successful applications for emergency debates in the House of Commons since 1979 through the following Parliamentary Information List.

Parliamentary Glossary

Use our glossary to find out what parliamentary terms mean