Commons remaining stages of the European Union (Approvals) Bill

11 February 2013

MPs are to debate the remaining stages of the European Union (Approvals) Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 11 February 2013.

The Bill will be considered in a Committee of the Whole House, followed by the report stage and third reading on the same day.

Proceedings on the European Union (Approvals) Bill are exptected to commence after 6.15pm, following the conclusion of the statement on horsemeat and food fraud. Timings are approximate.

Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available three hours after they happen in Today's Commons Debates.

Summary of the European Union (Approvals) Bill

The European Union (Approvals) Bill aims to approve two draft EU Council decisions and one draft decision of the European Council (the EU Heads of State and Government).

  • The first draft decision provides for the electronic version of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) to be the authentic and legally recognised edition of the OJ.
  • The second draft decision provides for a new Multiannual Framework for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency to operate from the beginning of 2013 until the end of 2017.
  • The third draft decision maintains the number of European Commissioners at one per Member State, as requested by the Government of Ireland as a condition for ratifying the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

Primary legislation is needed for all three draft decisions in accordance with the provisions of the European Union Act 2011 before the UK Government can support their adoption in the EU Council.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 November 2012.  It completed all its stages in the House of Lords on 21 January 2013 and was introduced to the House of Commons with first reading on the same day.  The Bill had its second reading on 4 February 2013.

Once the Bill has completed all of its stages in the House of Commons, it will be sent for Royal Assent. However, if the Commons make any amendments to the Bill, it will return to the House of Lords for consideration of these amendments.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the European Union (Approvals) Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library Analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues.  The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

What is the committee stage of a bill?

Committee stage is where detailed examination of the Bill takes place. It usually starts within a couple of weeks of a Bill’s second reading, although this is not guaranteed.
Most Bills are dealt with in a Public Bill Committee.
A minority of Bills are dealt with by a Committee of the Whole House, which takes place on the floor of the House of Commons, with every MP able to take part.

What happens after committee stage?

Once committee stage is finished, the Bill returns to the floor of the House of Commons for its report stage.

What are report stage and third reading of a bill?

The report stage gives MPs an opportunity, on the floor of the House, to consider any further amendments (proposals for change) to a Bill which has been examined in a public bill committee or on the floor of the House.  There is no set time period between the end of committee stage and the start of report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote, for lengthy and complex bills the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the Bill or new clauses (parts) they think should be added.

What happens after report stage?

Report stage is usually followed immediately by debate on the Bill's third reading.

What happens at third reading?

Debate on the Bill is usually short, and limited to what is actually in the Bill, rather than, as at second reading, what might have been included.

Amendments (proposals for change) cannot be made to a Bill at third reading in the Commons.  At the end of the debate, the House decides (votes on) whether to approve the third reading of the Bill.

What happens after third reading?

If the Bill started in the Commons it goes to the House of Lords for its first reading.

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