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About the daily Business papers

The current and future business of Parliament is recorded formally in a set of daily documents. These contain the agenda for the sitting day ahead in each House, as well as the events and decisions of the previous day. In both Houses, the daily agenda paper is referred to as the Order Paper.

Yesterday's business

In the House of Commons the formal record of what the House did the previous day is the Votes and Proceedings. This includes decisions, amendments to bills, and a list of publications and other documents laid before the House. It does not include what is said in the House, as this is recorded in Hansard. Full division results, showing how MPs voted, appear in Votes in Parliament.

Parliamentary Questions that were tabled by MPs on previous days can be found in the Questions for Oral and Written Answer. Earl Day Motions that have been tabled or signed on the previous day appear in the daily notices of new motions.

In the House of Lords the previous day's business is formally recorded in the Minutes of Proceedings. You can find these by clicking on any past sitting day in the calendar of Lords business papers. The Minutes do not include what was said in the House, as this is recorded in Hansard.

Today's business

In the Commons the agenda for each sitting day appears in the Order of Business - commonly known as the Order Paper. This includes that day's questions for oral answer, subjects for debate, new Bills, committee meetings and notice of any written ministerial statements. 

The agenda for the coming day's business in the House of Lords is set out in Notices and Orders of the Day (also known as the Order Paper). This includes the oral questions of the day and motions for debate in the Chamber and in Grand Committee.

Tomorrow and future business

Future business in the House of Commons can be found at the back of the daily Order Paper. This includes

  • The provisional business for the coming week
  • Business provisionally timetabled for any future date
  • Remaining Orders and Notices (business for which no date has yet been scheduled)

Oral Questions that have been tabled by MPs for answer on future days can be found in the Future Day Orals.

In the House of Lords, you can find provisional future business by clicking on future dates in the calendar of the Lords Business Papers.

See also Forthcoming Business, produced weekly by the Government Whips Office.

Other Commons Business Papers

A number of other documents are included with the business papers described here, including material relating to private business, statutory instruments, amendment papers for Bills, divisions and early day motions. Find out more in About Parliament: Daily business.

Contact the House of Commons Enquiry Service

The House of Commons Enquiry Service provides information on the work, history and membership of the House of Commons.

  • Telephone: 0800 112 4272 (Freephone) or 020 7219 4272
  • Email:
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Our telephone enquiry service is open from 10am - 12 midday and 2pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday.


The House of Commons Enquiry Service produces a series of free guides which you can read online, download or order copies.

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An alphabetical list of parliamentary terms with definitions.

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