Commons second reading: European Union Referendum Bill

09 June 2015

MPs debated the second reading of the European Union Referendum Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 9 June 2015.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Philip Hammond, opened the debate. Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn, responded on behalf of the Opposition.

The Amendment selected by the Speaker, in the name of Alex Salmond, was negatived on division. (Division No. 5: Ayes 59 votes, Noes 338 votes)

The Bill passed second reading on division. (Division No. 6: Ayes 544 votes, Noes 53 votes)

Related information

Summary of the European Union Referendum Bill

A Bill To make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union.

Progress of the Bill

This Government Bill was presented to Parliament on 28 May 2015. This is known as the first reading and there was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

The Bill had its second reading debate on Tuesday 9 June 2015.

A programme motion following second reading was agreed to. The Bill will be considered by a Committee of the whole House over two days, provisionally on 16 and 18 June 2015.

The programme motion also schedules the report and third reading stages to take place over one day.

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

Further reading

The following documents and news stories 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 briefing paper for second reading.

What happens at second reading?

At second reading the House debates the whole principle 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?

Most Bills are dealt with in a Public Bill Committee, but a minority of Bills are dealt with by a Committee of the Whole House. This takes place on the floor of the House of Commons, with every MP able to take part.

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: iStock

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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