Consideration of Lords amendments to Armed Forces Bill

20 October 2011

The House of Commons considered Lords amendments to the Armed Forces Bill on Wednesday 19 October.

Watch and read the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.

Summary of the Armed Forces Bill

An Armed Forces Bill is required every five years. The last Bill received Royal Assent in November 2006 and therefore a new Bill is required in the 2010-2012 Session.

The Bill provides the legal basis for the system of military law which exists in the UK, and an opportunity to make any suggested or necessary amendments. It also presents an opportunity to introduce new measures relating to the Armed Forces outside the traditional sphere of Service discipline.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers on the Armed Forces Bill.  Also find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Lords amendment proceedings

MPs considered in the following order; Lords amendments 1-5 and amendment 6.

Lords amendments 1-5 relate to the armed forces covenant report and were agreed to without a division.

Lords amendment 6 relates to wearing Commonwealth medals and was disagreed to on a division (Ayes 263; Noes 216).

Committee of Reason

The Commons appointed a Committee of Reason to draw up reasons to be assigned to the Lords as to why the Commons disagreed to their Amendment 6.

The Commons disagree to Lords Amendment 6 because it is not appropriate for Parliament to legislate on matters relating to medals.

The House of Lords will now consider the Reason.

Lords Amendments

When a Bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for the second House's amendments (proposals for change) to be considered.

Both Houses must agree on the exact wording of the Bill. There is no set time period between the third reading of a Bill and consideration of any Commons or Lords amendments.

'Ping Pong'

If the Commons makes amendments to the Bill, the Lords must consider them and either agree or disagree to the amendments or make alternative proposals.

If the Lords disagrees with any Commons amendments, or makes alternative proposals, then the Bill is sent back to the Commons.

A Bill may go back and forth between each House (‘Ping Pong’) until both Houses reach agreement.

What happens after consideration of amendments?

Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version of the Bill, it can receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill now become law).

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