Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

The Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution: Mechanisms allowing Parliament to direct the Executive inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Brexit process has shone fresh spotlight on how Parliament and Government interact, inside the Commons chamber and beyond. Amendments seeking to direct the Government, such as that which compelled the Prime Minister to return to the Commons with her Brexit ‘Plan B’ on Monday 21 January, are one reason why the level of interest in parliamentary procedure has never been higher.

With fresh amendments and backbench Bills in the pipeline, such as the much-discussed European Union (Withdrawal) (No.2) and (No. 3) Bills as well as the amendment to the Business of the House motion on 9 January, the coming weeks and months are likely to see further flashpoints; with the Speaker of the House of Commons set to play a pivotal role in many of the resulting debates.

In order to address these pressing issues, which may potentially have long-term consequences for the relationship between the House of Commons and the Government, the Committee invites evidence addressing these terms of reference.


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