Scotland Bill: Committee day one

25 January 2012

The Scotland Bill starts committee stage in the House of Lords today and will receive line by line scrutiny by members

Most amendments will deal with the function of Scottish Parliament. Discussions are expected to kick off with the role of individual candidates in Scottish constituencies and the timing of the Scottish parliamentary general election.

Amendments to Clause 11 (18, 90 and 20) will look at laws on the possession of air weapons in Scotland.

Lords may have time to discuss Amendment 23 which would allow Scotland to have its own time zone.

A motion has been put down by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Conservative) that could potentially halt tomorrow's proceedings. His motion suggests that the house: 'declines to consider the bill in Committee until Her Majesty’s Government have laid before Parliament a report on the results of the consultation they launched on 11 January on Scotland’s constitutional future and until the Scottish Parliament has passed a further Legislative Consent Motion in respect of the bill.'

The House of Lords would have to agree to this motion to pause the bill's progress.

The previous stage (Second Reading) took place on 6 December 2011.

What is the committee stage?

During committee stage, detailed line-by-line examination of separate clauses and schedules of the bill takes place. Any member of the Lords can take part. It can last for one or two days to eight or more. This stage usually starts no fewer than two weeks after the second reading.

The day before committee stage starts, amendments (proposals for change) are published in order in a Marshalled List. Amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a 'groupings of amendments' is published on the day. Lords must agree to every clause of the bill and vote on the amendments. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit for discussion.

After the committee stage, the bill is reprinted with all the agreed amendments and is moved to report stage for further examination.

Further information

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