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Telecommunications (Security) Bill completes passage through the Lords

16 November 2021

Cabling and wires

The Telecommunications (Security) Bill returned to the Lords for consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’ on Monday 15 November. 

The Telecommunications (Security) Bill will introduce a new security framework to ensure that public telecommunications providers operate secure and resilient networks and manage their supply chains appropriately.

Consideration of amendments

Members considered Commons reasons for disagreeing with Lords changes (amendmentsto the bill. 

The proposed changes (PDF) covered network diversification and a review of telecommunications companies based in foreign countries.

Get involved

Watch and read the debate

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore further information

Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Telecommunications (Security) Bill briefing.

Next steps

As both Houses have now agreed on the text of the bill, it now awaits the final step of Royal Assent when it will become an Act of Parliament (law).

Royal Assent is expected to take place on Wednesday 17 December.

What's happened so far?

Third reading: Tuesday 26 October

Third reading is the chance for members to ‘tidy up' a bill, making any small changes to ensure it is effective.

No changes to the wording of the bill were put forward ahead of third reading. Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages.

Catch up on  Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Report stage: Tuesday 19 October

Proposed changes 

Members put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill to consider at report stage. Members discussed subjects from the amendment list and voted on three changes to the bill.

Future regulations

The first vote was on amendment 1, which seeks to ensure parliamentary approval on any future government regulations regarding specified security measures.

Members voted 185 in favour and 187 against, so the change was not made.

Network diversification

The second vote was on amendment 8, which requires the government to report on the impact of its diversification strategy on the security of telecommunication networks and services.

The amendment also requires such a report to be debated in Parliament.

Members voted 180 in favour 176 against, so the change was made.

Overseas telecommunications companies

The final vote was on amendment 11, which requires the government to review the UK's security arrangements with any overseas telecommunications company banned by a Five Eyes partner (Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA).

Members voted 172 in favour and 156 against, so the change was made.

Find out more about the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Committee stage day two: Thursday 15 July

Proposed changes 

Members put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill. 

Members speaking discussed a range of issues, including a long-term strategy on telecommunications security and resilience and the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Committee stage day one: Tuesday 13 July

Proposed changes 

Members speaking on day one of committee stage put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill to be discussed. 

Members speaking discussed changes on a wide range of subjects including the ownership and investment of foreign companies, and strengthening the bill on security elements in recognition of the complexity of modern threats and to deal with companies that have been banned in other jurisdictions. 

Catch up Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Second reading: Tuesday 29 June

Members speaking discussed the main issues in the bill during the second reading debate, including the human rights record of foreign telecoms providers, national security and the delegation of powers to ministers in the bill.

Find out more about the issues members discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Image: Full fibre cabling (C) Openreach