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COVID-19 proceedings: legislative debates at all stages

Under the temporary arrangements currently in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, MPs may participate remotely or physically in debates on legislation at all stages in the House of Commons.

You can find out more about what happens during each stage of a bill's journey through the House of Commons in the MPs' Guide to Procedure:

Participation in debates

In order to participate in any debate on legislative proceedings, all MPs should apply to the Speaker's Office. Applications to speak should be made as early as possible and the following deadlines will apply:

  • For a debate on Monday - 1pm on the Friday of the week before
  • For a debate on Tuesday - 1pm of the Monday of the same week
  • For a debate on Wednesday - 1pm on the Tuesday of the same week

Call lists indicate which MPs may speak in each debate. Call lists applicable to each sitting day are published on the House business papers pages.

Amendments and new Clauses

MPs who wish to table amendments or new Clauses to a bill may do so by emailing the Public Bill Office. In many cases motions and amendments will be moved during speeches scheduled on the call lists. In these cases, an MP who moves an amendment will be called at the end of the debate to be given an opportunity to withdraw it, should they wish to.

Government motions or amendments, which do not need to be debated will be moved by the duty whip/minister who is physically present in the Chamber.

For any amendments or new Clauses that are selected for separate discussion by the Chair, the lead MP should confirm their wish to move the amendment or new Clause by emailing the Speaker's Office in advance of the end of the debate. They do not need to appear remotely to move it, as the Chair will announce the amendment or new Clause to be moved in thier name.

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Parliamentary Glossary

Use our glossary to find out what parliamentary terms mean