The Backbench Business Committee held a debate in the Commons Chamber on Thursday 6 September 2012 on a motion relating to immigration. Mr Frank Field and Nicholas Soames applied to the Backbench Business Committee to request this debate. It relates to the "No to 70 million" e-petition.
The motion debated was:
That this House calls on the Government to take all necessary steps to reduce immigration to a level that will stabilise the UK's population as close as possible to its present level and, certainly, significantly below 70 million.
Watch the debate and read a transcript
Watch the debate on Parliament TV and read the views expressed by MPs in Commons Hansard.
E-Petitions which have collected more than 100,000 signatures on the Government's e-petitions website are sent to the House of Commons. The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons checks the petition against the terms and conditions for e-petitions and the rules of the House of Commons.
The Backbench Business Committee can only consider an e-petition for a debate if an MP comes to make a case for the subject to be debated.
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets every week to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject. This includes subjects suggested by constituents where there is no e-petition, or where there is a traditional paper petition.
When considering petitions, the Committee will follow its usual procedure of hearing a sponsoring Member or Members of Parliament making the case for a debate.
The Committee will only be able to schedule a debate on a petition if several Members of Parliament tell the committee that they will take part in the debate. The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the very limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal; demand always outstrips supply. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.