Commons Private Members' Bills: 15 March 2019

15 March 2019

MPs debated a number of Private Members' Bills in the House of Commons on Friday 15 March 2019.

Private Members' Bills

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill - Consideration of Lords Amendments

The Commons will consider amendments made in the House of Lords to this bill. The bill has four main purposes;

  • to allow opposite sex couples to enter a civil partnership;
  • to reform how marriages are registered, and  register the names of the mother of each party in a marriage or civil partnership;
  • to require the Secretary of State to report on whether the law should be changed to allow he registration of pregnancy losses which cannot be registered as still-births under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953;
  • and to report on giving coroners powers to investigate stillborn deaths.

The House of Commons agreed to the House of Lords amendments to the Bill. The Bill now awaits Royal Assent.

Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill

The Bill amends the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009 (the “Act”) to prevent it from expiring on 11 November 2019.

The Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009 received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009, with a sunset clause that causes the Act to expire 10 years from the day on which it was passed. However, the Government wishes the Act to continue to have effect indefinitely. To achieve this, the Bill repeals section 4(7) of the Act.

The Act confers power on the national museums and galleries listed in section 1 (the “listed institutions”) to return certain cultural objects on grounds relating to events occurring during the Nazi era. It does so by enabling these institutions to give effect to recommendations made by the Spoliation Advisory Panel (the “Panel”) for the return of such objects.

House of Commons approves the third reading of the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill without a division.

The Bill progresses to the House of Lords for further consideration.

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill

The Bill contains two measures. The first will provide the Secretary of State for Defra with powers to establish new bodies known as “Rivers Authorities”. The second will address a current obstacle to the raising of the expenses of certain internal drainage boards under the Land Drainage Act 1991.

MPs also debated the second reading of the General Election (Leaders' Debate) Bill, before the sponsoring MP withdrew the motion. Debate then began on the second reading of Sir Christopher Chope's Green Belt (Protection) Bill but this was adjourned due to time constraints.

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