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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Find guidance on temporary procedures during the pandemic including voting, questions and statements. Members can find detailed guidance on participating virtually and voting on the Parliamentary intranet (please note: this link will only work if you have a parliamentary email account.)

How to object to a negative statutory instrument

You or your staff can complete these steps, but if your staff complete step 3 your handwritten signature is needed. 


  1. Check the Statutory Instrument List to see whether the statutory instrument has been presented to Parliament (‘laid’) and whether there is still time to have it annulled (or ask the Journal Office to check for you: email or phone 3317).
  2. Contact the Journal Office for the wording of an annulment motion (known as a ‘prayer’) and decide whether you want to ask any other MPs to sign it to show their support.
  3. You can then submit the prayer as an Early Day Motion:
    • You can only table a prayer when the House is meeting. You can submit it at other times, but it won't be tabled and published until the House meets again.
    • Take the prayer to the Table Office, or ask another MP to take it for you. Or sign the prayer and post it or ask your staff to take it to the Table Office (faxed, stamped or photocopied signatures cannot be accepted).
    • If you have an interest to declare, let the Table Office know.
  4. The Table Office will check your prayer and contact you if there’s a problem. Once the Table Office has approved your prayer, it has been tabled. The Government will then decide whether the House will be given the opportunity to debate the prayer, either in a Delegated Legislation Committee or (very rarely) in the Chamber.