Standing Orders of the House of Commons - Public Business 2002 (2) Contents


STANDING ORDERS 2002(2)

Arrangement and Timing of Public and Private Business



  14.(1) Save as provided in this order, government business shall have precedence at every sitting. Arrangement of public business.
  
  (2) Twenty days shall be allotted in each session for proceedings on opposition business, seventeen of which shall be at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition and three of which shall be at the disposal of the leader of the second largest opposition party; and matters selected on those days shall have precedence over government business provided that—
  
    (a) two Friday sittings shall be deemed equivalent to a single sitting on any other day;

    (b) on any day other than a Friday, not more than two of the days at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition may be taken in the form of four half days, and one of the days at the disposal of the leader of the second largest opposition party may be taken in the form of two half days; and

    (c) on any such half day, proceedings under this paragraph shall either—

      (i) lapse at seven o'clock on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or four o'clock on Thursday if not previously concluded, or

      (ii) be set down for consideration at seven o'clock on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or four o'clock on Thursday and, except on days on which private business has been set down for consideration under the provisions of paragraph (5) of Standing Order No. 20 (Time for taking private business), shall be entered upon at that time:

  
  Provided that on days on which business stands over until seven o'clock or four o'clock under the provisions of Standing Order No. 24 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration) proceedings under this sub-paragraph shall not be entered upon until such business has been disposed of, and may then be proceeded with for three hours, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 9 (Sittings of the House).
  
  (3) For the purposes of this order 'the second largest opposition party' shall be that party, of those not represented in Her Majesty's Government, which has the second largest number of Members elected to the House as members of that party.
  
  (4) Private Members' bills shall have precedence over government business on thirteen Fridays in each session to be appointed by the House.
  
  (5) On and after the eighth Friday on which private Members' bills have precedence, such bills shall be arranged on the order paper in the following order:
  
    consideration of Lords amendments, third readings, consideration of reports not already entered upon, adjourned proceedings on consideration, bills in progress in committee, bills appointed for committee, and second readings.
  
  (6) The ballot for private Members' bills shall be held on the second Thursday on which the House shall sit during the session under arrangements to be made by the Speaker, and each bill shall be presented by the Member who has given notice of presentation or by another Member named by him in writing to the Clerks at the Table, at the commencement of public business on the fifth Wednesday on which the House shall sit during the session.
  
  (7) Until after the fifth Wednesday on which the House shall sit during the session, no private Member shall—
  
    (a) give notice of a motion for leave to bring in a bill under Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in bills and nomination of select committees at commencement of public business); or

    (b) give notice for presenting a bill under Standing Order No. 57 (Presentation and first reading); or

    (c) inform the Clerks at the Table of his intention to take charge of a bill which has been brought from the Lords.

  
  (8) A private Member's bill to which the provisions of paragraphs (2) to (6) of Standing Order No. 97 (Scottish Grand Committee (bills in relation to their principle)) have applied, and which has been considered by a Scottish Standing Committee (or by a special standing committee), shall not be set down for consideration on report so as to have precedence over any private Member's bill so set down which was read a second time on a day preceding that on which the bill was reported from the Scottish Grand Committee under paragraph (3) of that Standing Order.
  
  (9) An order appointing a day for the second reading of a private Member's bill shall lapse at the rising of the House on the preceding sitting day if at that time the bill has not been printed and delivered to the Vote Office, and the House shall make no further order appointing a day for the second reading of the bill until it has been printed.
  
  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 the moment of interruption, 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: Exempted 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 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or eight o'clock on Thursday 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 the moment of interruption, 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 the moment of interruption.
  
  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)). Proceedings under an Act or on European Union documents.
  
  (2) Business to which this order applies may be proceeded with at any hour, though opposed.
  
  17.—(1) No proceedings on a motion to which this order applies shall be entered upon at or after half­past eleven o'clock on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or half-past eight o'clock on Thursday. Delegated legislation (negative procedure).
  
  (2) If such a motion is under consideration at half­past eleven o'clock on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or half-past eight o'clock on Thursday, 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 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday or eight o'clock on Thursday, 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.

  
  18.—(1) If the Regulatory Reform Committee has reported under paragraph (3) of Standing Order No. 141 (Regulatory Reform Committee) that a draft order laid before the House under section 1 of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 should be approved and a motion is made by a Minister of the Crown to that effect, the question thereon shall— Consideration of draft regulatory reform orders.
  
    (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.
  
  19. If a motion to the effect that the Speaker do issue his 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. New writs.
  
  20.—(1) On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the time for private business shall end not later than a quarter of an hour after the House sits 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. Time for taking private business.
  
  (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 or Wednesday or four o'clock on any specified 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 four 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).
  
  



 
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Prepared 12 November 2002