Formal introduction – no debate on the Bill
First reading is the first stage of a Bill’s passage through the House of Commons - usually a formality, it takes place without debate.
First reading of a Bill can take place at any time in a parliamentary session.
What happens at first reading?
The short title of the Bill is read out and is followed by an order for the Bill to be printed.
What happens after first reading?
The Bill is published as a House of Commons paper for the first time.
The next stage is second reading, the first opportunity for MPs to debate the general principles and themes of the Bill.