Remaining Commons stages of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill

26 February 2013

The report stage and third reading of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill took place in the House of Commons on Tuesday 26 February 2013.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Jo Swinson, opened the debate. The Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Ian Murray, responded.

Summary of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill [HL]

The Bill examines the practices of larger supermarket chains with regard to their suppliers, including farmers and small-scale producers. It seeks to establish the office of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, whose role is to enforce and oversee the Groceries Code.

The new groceries code will apply to the UK's ten 'large' retailers, each with a turnover of more than one billion pounds in groceries.  If the Bill is passed, the code will ensure that retailers

  • deal fairly and lawfully with suppliers
  • do not vary supply arrangements retrospectively
  • pay suppliers within a reasonable time

Progress of the Bill

The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 10 May 2012.  It completed all of its Lords stages and was introduced into the House of Commons on 3 September 2012.

The Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 19 November 2012.

The Bill completed its committee stages on 18 December 2012 and completed its remaining stages on 26 February 2013.

The Bill will now return to the House of Lords for consideration of the proposed amendments.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill [HL] 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 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 the report stage.

What happens at report stage?

All MPs may speak and vote. For lengthy or complex Bills, the debates may be spread over several days. All MPs can suggest amendments to the Bill or new clauses (parts) that 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 a 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. If the Bill started in the Lords it will return to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons have made.

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