Mark and Ruth look at the growing fashion for re-writing Bills mid-air as they pass through Parliament, adding on all sorts of policy bells and whistles at the last minute.
Any MP is permitted under Standing Order No. 57 to introduce a bill of his or her choice, having given prior notice to the Public Bill Office. Presentation Bills are formally 'presented' during a Friday sitting, and only after all the Ballot Bills on the Order Paper have been presented.
Last updated: 4 May 2022 The MP presenting the bill does not give a speech and there is no debate on the proposals. There is no requirement for Presentation Bills to be printed - and they often are not - but they will not progress beyond Second Reading unless they are printed.
Presentation Bills can be used to address discrete, non-controversial policy issues and to resolve anomalies in the law. They can also be a useful means to keep an issue before the House that has perhaps been introduced previously under a different PMB procedure. However, with no speech or debate attached to them, they are less useful to Members than Ballot Bills or Ten Minute Rule Bills.
Presentation Bills rarely become law, although recent exceptions have been the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 (formerly the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.5) Bill) sponsored by Yvette Cooper MP and Lord Rooker; and the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (formerly the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill) sponsored by Hilary Benn MP and again by Lord Rooker in the House of Lords. Both Bills were secured after MPs controversially seized control of the Order Paper from the government as part of a legislative strategy to avoid (or delay) a 'no-deal' exit from the European Union in the absence of the parliamentary support needed to ratify the draft Withdrawal Agreement.
Hansard Society (2022), Guide to Private Members' Bills, (Hansard Society: London)
Delegated legislation is the most common form of legislation in the United Kingdom. It is the legislation of everyday life, impacting millions of citizens daily. But the terminology and procedures that surround it are complex and often confusing. This explainer unpacks delegated legislation - the terminology and Parliament's role in scrutinising it - to reveal more about how delegated legislation really works.
What a week! Suella Braverman's sacking from Government was immediately eclipsed by the appointment of former Prime Minister David Cameron as the new Foreign Secretary. Mark and Ruth explore the many questions this raises, not least for scrutiny of foreign affairs by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s decision to cancel the next stage of HS2 has given rise to criticism that once again the Government has ridden roughshod over Parliament. Just over 1,300 hours of legislative time have been spent on four HS2-related Bills over nine Sessions in the last decade. Why has it taken so long and what now happens to that legislation?
When parliamentarians reassemble at Westminster on 7 November for the start of the new Session, all eyes will be on the legislative programme to be announced in the King’s Speech. Speculation about the likely date of the next general election is rife at Westminster, but until the date is settled there are a lot of parliamentary issues still to be tackled. We’ve picked out a few things to look out for on the political horizon.