Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2001 - continued        House of Commons

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Exempted business.     15. - (1) The following business may be proceeded with at any hour though opposed, shall not, save for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to paragraph (2) of this order, be interrupted at ten o'clock, and, if under discussion when business is postponed under the provisions of any Standing Order, may be resumed, though opposed, after the interruption of business:
 
 
    (a) proceedings on a bill brought in upon a ways and means resolution;
 
    (b) proceedings in pursuance of any standing order of this House which provides that proceedings, though opposed, may be decided after the expiration of the time for opposed business;
 
    (c) proceedings on a motion such as is referred to in paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 121 (Nomination of select committees) for the nomination or discharge of members of select committees appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments) which has been opposed at or after the interruption of business on a preceding day:

    Provided that any questions necessary to dispose of the proceedings on such a motion shall be put at eleven o'clock or one hour after the commencement of those proceedings, whichever is the later.
      (2) If a notice of motion in the name of a Minister of the Crown stands upon the order paper at the commencement of public business to the effect that any specified business may be proceeded with at this day's sitting though opposed-
 
 
    (a) until any hour;
 
    (b) until a specified hour; or
 
    (c) until either a specified hour or the end of a specified period after it has been entered upon, whichever is the later;
  or in a form combining any or all of these effects in respect of different items of business, the motion shall stand over and may not be made until after the interruption of business and shall then be proceeded with, though opposed, in accordance with the following paragraphs of this order provided that on any day on which the Speaker is directed to put questions at ten o'clock pursuant to paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 54 (Consideration of estimates), any such motion shall stand over until those questions have been decided.
      (3) If the business interrupted is included in the business specified in the motion or in paragraph (1) of this order, the Speaker shall, immediately after the interruption of business, or if the House has been in committee, before any day is named for the House again to resolve itself into that committee, call upon the Minister to move his motion and the question thereon shall be put forthwith, and after that question has been decided the consideration of the business interrupted shall be resumed if such business is included in the business specified in paragraph (1) of this order or if the question be resolved in the affirmative.
 
      (4) If the business interrupted is not included in the business specified in the motion or in paragraph (1) of this order, the Speaker shall call upon the Minister to move his motion at the conclusion of any proceedings arising on the interruption of business under the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) but before the resumption of any proceedings postponed under Standing Order No. 20 (Time for taking private business) or No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration).
 
      (5) If a motion made under either of the two preceding paragraphs be agreed to, the business so specified shall be proceeded with as if it were included in the business specified in paragraph (1) of this order, save that-
 
 
    (a) business which may be proceeded with until a specified hour may not, if opposed, be entered upon or resumed after that hour and the proceedings thereon if not previously concluded shall be interrupted at that hour;
 
    (b) when proceedings on such business have been postponed under the provisions of Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration), such business may be proceeded with after the specified hour for a further period of time equal to the duration of the proceedings upon the motion under the said Standing Order No. 24; and
 
    (c) the proceedings upon business which may be proceeded with until either a specified hour or the end of a specified period after it has been entered upon, whichever is the later, shall if not previously concluded be interrupted at that hour or at the end of that period, as the case may be.
      (6) Not more than one motion under paragraph (2) of this order may be made at any one sitting and after any business proceeding under the provisions of this order is disposed of after ten o'clock, the remaining business of the sitting shall be dealt with according to the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House) applicable to business taken after ten o'clock.
 
Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents.     16. - (1) The Speaker shall put the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings under any Act of Parliament or on European Union documents (as defined in Standing Order No. 143 (European Scrutiny Committee)) not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of such proceedings, subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 17 (Delegated legislation (negative procedure)).
 
      (2) Business to which this order applies may be proceeded with at any hour, though opposed.
 
Delegated legislation (negative procedure).     17. - (1) No proceedings on a motion to which this order applies shall be entered upon at or after half-past eleven o'clock.
 
      (2) If such a motion is under consideration at half-past eleven o'clock, the Speaker shall forthwith put any question which may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed from the chair:

Provided that, if he shall be of opinion that-
 
 
    (a) owing to the lateness of the hour at which consideration of the motion was entered upon, or
 
    (b) because of the importance of the subject matter of the motion,


the time for debate has not been adequate, he shall interrupt the business and the debate shall stand adjourned till the next sitting (other than a Friday).
      (3) A debate which has been adjourned under paragraph (2) of this order shall not be resumed later than eleven o'clock, but shall stand further adjourned till the next sitting (other than a Friday), and the foregoing provisions of this paragraph shall apply to any debate which has been further adjourned under this paragraph as if the further adjournment were an adjournment under paragraph (2) of the order.
 
      (4) This order applies to proceedings under an Act of Parliament on-
 
 
    (a) any motion for an humble address to Her Majesty praying that a statutory instrument be annulled, and any motion that a draft of an Order in Council be not submitted to Her Majesty in Council, or that a statutory instrument be not made,
 
    (b) any motion that, or for an humble address to Her Majesty praying that, any other document be annulled, or cease to be in force, or be not made or be disapproved, or words to that effect.
Consideration of draft deregulation orders.     18. - (1) If the Deregulation Committee has reported under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 141 (Deregulation Committee) that a draft order laid before the House under section 1 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 should be approved and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall-
 
 
    (a) if the committee's recommendation was agreed without a division, be put forthwith;
 
    (b) if the committee's recommendation was agreed after a division, be put not later than one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion.
      (2) If the committee has reported that a draft order should not be approved, no motion to approve the draft order shall be made unless the House has previously resolved to disagree with the committee's report; the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on the motion for such a resolution to disagree shall be put not later than three hours after their commencement; and the question shall be put forthwith on any motion thereafter made by a Minister of the Crown that such a draft order be approved.
 
      (3) Motions to which this order applies may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.
 
New writs.     19. If a motion to the effect that the Speaker do issue her warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new writ for the electing of a Member is proposed to be made or is made after prayers on any day on which private Members' bills have precedence, and is opposed, proceedings thereon shall lapse.
 
Time for taking private business.     20. - (1) On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the time for private business shall end not later than a quarter to three o'clock and business entered upon and not disposed of at that hour shall be deferred to such time as the Chairman of Ways and Means may appoint. Business not reached shall stand over to the next sitting, or in the case of opposed business until the next sitting other than a Friday.
 
      (2) During the time of private business, opposed business shall not be proceeded with but shall be deferred to such time, other than a Friday, as the Chairman of Ways and Means may appoint.
 
      (3) Opposed business shall include any proceedings on a private bill or a confirming bill which have been deferred under paragraph (2) of this order, so long as a notice of an amendment stands upon the order paper in the form of a notice of motion (other than a notice of motion in the name of the Chairman of Ways and Means) on second reading, consideration or third reading of such bill:

Provided that no such notice of motion shall stand on the order paper for more than seven days unless renewed.
 
      (4) No opposed business shall be taken on a Friday.
 
      (5) Business deferred under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this order shall be considered at the time of private business on the day appointed unless the Chairman of Ways and Means directs that such business shall be set down for seven o'clock on any specified Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and business so set down (including any motion contingent directly or otherwise upon any item of such business) shall be taken in such order as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine:

Provided that business so set down shall be distributed as nearly as may be proportionately between the sittings on which government business has precedence and other sittings.
 
      (6) On any day specified under paragraph (5) of this order at seven o'clock or as soon thereafter as any motion for the adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) has been disposed of, the business set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means shall be entered upon and may be proceeded with subject to the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House).
 
 
Notices of Questions, etc.
Time for taking questions.     21. - (1) Questions shall be taken on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, after private business and motions for unopposed returns have been disposed of.
 
      (2) No question shall be taken after half-past three o'clock, except questions which have not appeared on the order paper but which are in the Speaker's opinion of an urgent character and relate either to matters of public importance or to the arrangement of business.
 
      (3) Any questions tabled for written answer on a day on which the House does not sit by reason of the continuance of a previous sitting shall be deemed to be questions for written answer on the next sitting day and shall appear on the order paper for that day.
 
Notices of questions, motions and amendments.     22. - (1) Notices of questions shall be given by Members in writing to the Table Office.
 
      (2) A notice of a question, or of an amendment to a motion standing on the order paper for which no day has been fixed or of the addition of a name in support of such a motion or amendment, which is given after half-past ten o'clock in the evening shall be treated for all purposes as if it were a notice handed in after the rising of the House.
 
      (3) A Member shall indicate on the notice of any question whether it is for oral or written answer and a Member may indicate a date for answer of a question for written answer in accordance with paragraph (4) of this order.
 
      (4) Where a Member has indicated that a question is for written answer on a named day the Minister shall cause an answer to be given to the Member on the date for which notice has been given, provided that the requirement of notice shall be the same for such questions as that prescribed in this order for questions for oral answer.
 
      (5) Notice of a question for oral answer may not be given on a day earlier than ten sitting days before the day for answer, provided that, where that earliest day would otherwise fall on a Friday, the earliest day on which such notice may be given will instead be the previous sitting day.
 
      (6) Notice of any question for oral answer must appear at latest on the notice paper circulated two days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) before that on which an answer is desired.
 
      (7) When it is proposed that the House shall adjourn for a period of fewer than four days, any day during that period (other than a Saturday or Sunday) shall be counted as a sitting day for the purpose of calculating the period in paragraph (5) of this order.
 
      (8) When it is proposed that the House should adjourn for a period of more than three days the Speaker shall cause to have printed and circulated with the Vote a memorandum superseding the provisions of paragraphs (5) and (6) of this order, provided that each day named as the earliest on which notice of a question for oral answer may be given shall as far as practicable fall on the same day of the week as that on which the question is to be answered; and also setting out the latest day for notice of questions for oral answer on each of the first two sitting days following that adjournment, provided that each such day shall not be fewer than two days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) before the day for answer.
 
 
Motions for Bills and Select Committees
Motions for leave to bring in bills and nomination of select committees at commencement of public business.     23. - (1) On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and, if given by a Minister of the Crown, on Mondays and Thursdays, notices of motions for leave to bring in bills, and for the nomination of select committees, may be set down for consideration at the commencement of public business. The Speaker, after permitting, if he thinks fit, a brief explanatory statement from the Member who makes and from a Member who opposes any such motion respectively, shall put either the question thereon, or the question, 'That the debate be now adjourned'.
 
      (2) With respect to a private Member's motion for leave to bring in a bill under this order-
 
 
    (a) notice shall be given in the Public Bill Office by the Member in person or by another Member on his behalf, but on any one day not more than one notice shall be accepted from any one Member;
 
    (b) no notice shall be given for a day on which a notice of motion under this order already stands on the paper;
 
    (c) no notice shall be given for a day earlier than the fifth or later than the fifteenth sitting day after the day on which it is given;
 
    (d) not more than one such notice shall stand on the paper in the name of any one Member for a day within any period of fifteen sitting days.
      (3) No notice may be given under this order for a day on which Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer has declared his intention of opening his Budget; but
 
 
      (i) notices proposed to be given for such day, and
 
      (ii) notices so given for a day in respect of which such intention is subsequently declared,
  shall be treated as having been given for the first Monday on which the House shall sit after the Budget is opened, and may be proceeded with on that day as though it were a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
 
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Prepared 26 January 2001