Census Bill: Commons Second Reading

17 July 2019

MPs approved the Second Reading of the Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 17 July 2019.

Second reading

MPs voted to approve the Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill without dividing. The Bill now passes to committee stage for further scrutiny.

Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill [HL] 2017-19

Summary of the Bill

The Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill provides for voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity to be asked in the England and Wales and Northern Ireland censuses. It does this by removing the criminal penalty for not responding to questions on these matters. It also clarifies the existing law that such questions may be asked. In the case of England and Wales only, this will lead to any such questions being subject to the draft negative Parliamentary procedure in future Census Orders.

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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.

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