This debate consists of up to 12 x 10-minute speeches, and cannot be held until 3 working days after the committee has reported back.
In this debate, the House decides whether to agree to the principle (policy) of the Bill as a whole, and to the amendments that the select committee has recommended.
The department provides materials in advance to prepare the Minister for the debate, including on issues that are likely to be raised.
Both the department and the PCO support the Minister in the debate itself. The department advises on questions raised on policy. The PCO advises on any amendments or drafting queries.
The PCO’s key role at the Committee is to assist in answering queries on drafting of the Bill or advising on any proposed amendments.
If the need for an amendment arises immediately before or during the Committee stage, it will be too late to prepare and release an SOP. In this case, the PCO can prepare a typescript amendment for the Minister’s approval and it can be tabled during the debate.
This debate addresses whether a Bill’s provisions properly incorporate the principles and objects that were agreed to at the second reading, and to consider and make amendments.
This stage provides the last opportunity for the House to amend the Bill. Amendments can be by SOP or by a typescript amendment tabled in the debate (a table amendment) by placing 6 copies on the table.
Unlike other debates, there is no overall time limit for the Committee stage. Members can take an unlimited number of calls of up to 5 minutes long. However, when the debate becomes repetitive or no longer relevant, the chair will move the debate to the next question. The Bill is considered Part-by-Part (if it is drafted in Parts), clause-by-clause, or in any other way the House or Business Committee decides (for example, one question or thematically).
This debate consists of up to 12 x 10-minute speeches. It can be scheduled for the sitting day after its Committee stage.
This is the final debate, which largely sums up the process to date and, in particular, how it emerged from the Committee stage.