MPs debate remaining stages of High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

01 November 2013

MPs debated the remaining stages of the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill in the House of Commons on Thursday 31 October 2013.

The Bill completed its report stage and MPs voted by 350 to 34 to approve the third reading. The Bill now moves to the House of Lords for consideration.

High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill

High Speed Two (HS2) is a £34-£36 billion project to build a high speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds, via Birmingham, the East Midlands, Sheffield and Crewe, to begin operation in 2026 and be completed in 2032.

Paving bills

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill is a 'paving Bill' to authorise further spending on preparation for the HS2 project. The paving Bill requires Royal Assent before the expenditure it provides for could be authorised.

Progress of the Bill

This Bill was presented to Parliament on 13 May 2013. The Public Bill Committee reported on 18 July 2013.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the High Speed Rail (Preparation) 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 and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper covering the stages of the paving Bill through to Royal Assent.

The broader policy issues to do with HS2 are also examined in two papers:

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) they think should be added.

What happens after Report stage?

Report stage is normally 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 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 returns to the House of Lords for consideration of any amendments the Commons has made.

Watching proceedings from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery

Image: PA/Gareth Fuller

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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