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Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
Reports published. Government responses received.
Resolutions of the House of Commons are not legally binding, except where specified in statute. However, resolutions of the House on immediate questions of political controversy have historically had substantial political force, often compelling Governments to change policy.
The status of resolutions of the House was called into question by the decision of the 2010-15 Coalition Government to treat the resolutions passed in the newly-created backbench time as no more than expressions of opinion against which they did not vote, even if they contradicted government policy. Their status has recently become the subject of yet more discussion as a result of the current Government’s approach to resolutions following debates in Opposition time, and there are concerns about what precedents may have been established.
The Committee calls for written submissions on the constitutional status of resolutions and motions of no confidence.
13th Special Report - Government Response to the Committee’s Fourteenth Report: The Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution Interim Report The Status and Effect of Confidence Motions and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011
14th Special Report - Government Response to the Committee’s Fifteenth Report: Status of Resolutions of the House of Commons
Evidence given by Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons
Committee publishes report on resolutions in the House of Commons