Second reading High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

26 June 2013

MPs debated the second reading of the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 26 June 2013.

Second reading High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

A reasoned amendment on the Bill selected by the Chairman of Ways and Means was voted against (37 votes to 325, division number 35).

The second reading of the Bill was agreed on division (330 votes to 27, division number 36). 

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

High Speed Two (HS2) is a £34-£36 billion project to build a high speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds, via Birmingham, the East Midlands, Sheffield and Crewe, to begin operation in 2026 and be completed in 2032.

It was supported by the Labour Government after 2009 and has had the support of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government since May 2010.

Paving bills

The High Speed (Preparation) Bill is a 'paving Bill' to authorise further spending on preparation for the HS2 project. The paving Bill is a Public Bill and requires Royal Assent before the expenditure it provides for can be authorised.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 13 May 2013

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper covering the stages of the paving Bill through to Royal Assent.

The broader policy issues to do with HS2 are examined in two papers: 

What happens at second reading?

At second reading the House debates the whole principle of the bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill.

At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement, a division is called and a vote taken.

What happens after second reading?

Following agreement to the programme motion, the Bill will now progress to a Public Bill Committee which will conclude by Thursday 18 July 2013.

The programme motion also schedules the report and third reading stages to take place over one day.

Motions to change Hybrid Bill procedure 26 June 2013

MPs also debated motions related to Hybrid Bill procedure. The motions were agreed on question without a vote.

The first motion makes amendments to the private business standing orders relating to comments on environmental statements. The second motion relates to the electronic deposit of documents for a High Speed 2 Bill.

Hybrid Bills

Hybrid Bills mix the characteristics of Public and Private Bills. The changes to the law proposed by a Hybrid Bill would affect the general public but would also have a significant impact for specific individuals or groups. The Bill passed concerning the construction of the Channel Tunnel was an example of a Hybrid Bill.

Watching proceedings from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery

Image: Gareth Fuller

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