The Legislative Process in the UK

The First Reading

This is the first stage (the First Reading) of the legislative process where:

  • The Bill is formally introduced in the HOC.
  • The title and main aims of the Bill are read out by the MP sponsoring it.
  • Copies are distributed out to the HOC.

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The Second Reading

The 2nd stage, the Second Reading, is where:

  • The main debate and vote takes place in the HOC.
  • MPs vote by walking through 'aye' or 'no' doors/lobbies.
  • If there is a majority vote, the Bill is passed on to the next stage.

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The Committee Stage

The third stage called the Committee stage, is where:

  • The Bill is scrutinised by an elected select committee, using the clause by clause examination. 

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The Report Stage

The 4th stage, is called the Report Stage, where:

  • Amendments made by the select committee are reported to the HOC.

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The Third Reading

The 5th stage is called the Third Reading, which is where:

  • The Bill is read out in its final form in the HOC.
  • The final vote takes place

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The House of Lords Stage

The 6th stage called the HOL stage, is where:

  • The Bill is sent to the HOL, where a similar process takes place on the bill.
  • However the only difference is that, in the committee stage, the Bill is scrutinised by all the Lords instead of a commitee. 
  • Any amendments made by the HOL are reported back to the HOC.
  • The Bill can go back and forth between the 2 Houses, known as 'ping ponging.'
  • The HOL can delay a Bill for a year.
  • However, allowed under the Parliaments Act 1911 & 1949, the HOC have the power to pass the Bill is there has been no outcome after a year.

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Royal Assent

The final stage is called Royal Assent, where:

  • The Queen traditionally approved the Bill by signing it.
  • Thje Bill then becomes an Act of Parliament.

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