MPs debate House of Commons Commission Bill

24 February 2015

MPs debated the second reading, committee, report and third reading stages of the House of Commons Commission Bill, on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

The House of Commons Commission Bill passed the remaining stages in the House of Commons and will now return to the House of Lords.

Related information

Summary of the House of Commons Commission Bill

A Bill to amend the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 so as to make provision about the membership of the House of Commons Commission, so as to confer a new strategic function on the Commission, and so as to make provision about the exercise of functions on behalf of the Commission or its members.

Progress of the Bill

This Government Bill was presented to Parliament on 4 February 2015. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the House of Commons Commission 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 of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

What happens next?

If the Bill passes all of  its stages in the House of Commons it will pass to the House of Lords for consideration.

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?

If the motion at second reading is agreed to, the Bill will go to a Public Bill Committee for consideration.
 
The programme motion would also schedule the report and third reading stages to take place over one day.   

What is the Committee stage of a bill?

When a bill passes its second reading and is considered in detailed, this usually takes place in a Public Bill Committee held outside the Chamber and made up of between 16 and 20 MPs.

Occasionally a bill will be considered by a Committee of the whole House and this discussion takes place in the Chamber itself, where all MPs can take part.

Any bill can be referred to a Committee of the whole House, but the procedure is normally reserved for finance bills and other important or controversial legislation.

What is the report stage of a bill?

The report stage gives MPs an opportunity, on the floor of the House, to consider any further amendments (proposals for change) to a bill which has been examined in a public bill committee or on the floor of the House. There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of the report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote. For lengthy or complex bills, the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the bill or new clauses (parts) that they think should be added.

What happens after report stage?

Report stage is usually followed immediately by debate on the bill's third reading.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included.

Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a bill at a third reading in the Commons. At the end of the debate, the House decides whether to approve the third reading of the bill.

What happens after third reading?

If the bill started in the Commons it goes to the House of Lords for its first reading.

If the bill started in the Lords it returns to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons has made.

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: Parliamentary Copyright

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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