What is a bill?

A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law that is presented for debate before Parliament.

Bills are introduced in either the House of Commons or House of Lords for examination, discussion and amendment.

When both Houses have agreed on the content of a Bill it is then presented to the reigning monarch for approval (known as Royal Assent).

Once Royal Assent is given a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and is law.

Different types of Bills can be introduced by:

  • The government
  • Individual MPs or Lords
  • Private individuals or organisations

There are three different types of Bill: Public, Private and Hybrid Bills. There is also another kind of Public Bill called Private Members' Bills.

You can access the amendments that have been tabled in relation to a particular Bill as well as view what happened to each amendment on the bills individual webpage found in Bills before Parliament. You can access the amendments through 'Bill documents' or through the 'Public Bill Committee' proceedings.

Related information

Bills and Acts

A Bill becomes an Act of Parliament if it is approved by a majority in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and formally agreed to by the reigning monarch.

An Act of Parliament is a law, enforced in all areas of the UK where it is applicable.

Bills before Parliament

You can find a list of the Bills currently before Parliament by accessing our Bills and Legislation section.