MPs debate second reading of High Speed Rail Bill

MPs debate second reading of High Speed Rail Bill
29 April 2014

MPs debated and approved the second reading of the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill in the House of Commons on Monday 28 April 2014.

The debate was opened by Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin. The Shadow Transport Secretary, Mary Creagh, responded on behalf of the Opposition.


MPs voted 451 to 50 against the reasoned amendment in the name of Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham and Amersham.

MPs voted 452 to 41 to agree the second reading of the Bill.

Further information

Summary of the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill

The Bill confers the powers required to construct phase 1 of the proposed HS2 scheme from London Euston to Birmingham Curzon Street with intermediate stations in West London (Old Oak Common) and at Birmingham Airport. It provides for a connection to the existing rail link to the Channel Tunnel (HS1) but not to Heathrow Airport.

Progress of the Bill

The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 25 November 2013. The Bill's second reading took place on Monday 28 April 2014.

Debate on the Bill will continue on Tuesday 29 April 2014, with MPs debating motions committing the Bill to a Selection Committee and on the instruction to the Select Committee. A carry over motion has also been tabled.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

Hybrid bills

The High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill is a hybrid bill.

Hybrid bills mix the characteristics of public and private bills. The changes to the law proposed by a hybrid bill would affect the general public but would also have a significant impact for specific individuals or groups.

Further reading

The following documents are relevant to the second reading debate:

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 number of papers relating to the High Speed Rail Bill.

What happens at second reading?

The procedure for second reading of a hybrid bill is the same as for a public bill: the House debates the main principles of the bill.

It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading. The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill.

At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.

Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement, a division is called and a vote taken.

What happens after second reading?

If this hybrid bill passes second reading it will progress to a Public Bill Committee for further scrutiny after it has been committed to a select committee.

Hybrid bills and select committees

In order to enable anyone directly affected by a hybrid bill to make their case against it, the bill is committed to a select committee, which will consider petitions against it.

If the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill passes second reading, motions establishing the select committee on the Bill and containing various instructions to the Committee, and on carry-over of the Bill between sessions, will be considered on Tuesday 29 April in the House of Commons.

The motion to refer the bill to a select committee normally also sets down the requirements for the receipt of petitions against the bill.

In addition to referring a hybrid bill to select committee, the House may also give instructions to the select committee. Instructions can prevent the select committee from amending certain provisions or specifically allow it to make alterations to infrastructure provided for in the bill.

Carry over motions

A carry over motion has been tabled for the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill on Tuesday 29 April. If the motion is agreed the Bill will be resumed in the 2014-15 session of Parliament if proceedings are not concluded in this session, and again in 2015-16.

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

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

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