On Thursday 17 July MPs took part in a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on the Universal Postal Service Obligation. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee.
Watch the debate and read the transcript
This debate was opened by Katy Clark, Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran. Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Minister, Ian Murray, responded on behalf of the Opposition. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Jo Swinson, responded on behalf of the Government.
Motion for debate
MPs debated the following motion:
"That this House believes that the Universal Service Obligation as set out in the Postal Services Act 2011 is under threat from unfair competition from organisations which are rapidly expanding end-to-end delivery services in low-cost, high-density urban areas while leaving high-cost, low-density rural areas to be covered by Royal Mail, the universal service provider; and calls on the Government to instruct Ofcom to bring forward proposals to protect the Universal Service Obligation and the commercial viability of Royal Mail against this threat."
How the subject for debate was selected
The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee following representation from Katy Clark and Mike Weir at the meeting on 1 July.
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.