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What happens in the Chamber with Lords Amendments

If you’ve submitted any amendments to Lords Amendments, or a motion to disagree with a Lords Amendment, you should contact the Clerk of Legislation to find out how they will be handled in the Chamber (phone 3255 or email PBOHoC@parliament.uk).

Before debating the Lords Amendments themselves, MPs will normally be asked to agree a programme motion setting out a timetable for the debate. The motion might also set out the order in which the Lords Amendments will be considered. If the motion doesn’t give a particular order, the Lords Amendments will be considered in the order they relate to the bill and are published on the Lords Amendments list.

The Commons has to make a decision on every Lords Amendment. It’s up to the minister (or the MP in charge of the bill if it’s a Private Member’s Bill) to decide whether to invite the House to agree or disagree with each Lords Amendment. When the minister wants to disagree with the Lords Amendment they will normally submit a motion in advance, which will be printed on the Amendment Paper (although they don’t have to). This doesn’t usually happen with motions to agree. Other MPs can submit motions to disagree with a Lords Amendment, but they’re unlikely to be called to move them formally.

Where the motion is to agree with the Lords Amendment, the order for decisions is:

  • any amendments to the Lords Amendment
  • the motion to agree to the Lords Amendment [as amended]
  • any consequential amendments to the Lords Amendment

Where the motion is to disagree with the Lords Amendment, the order for decisions is:

  • the motion to disagree to the Lords Amendment
  • any amendments proposed in place of the Lords Amendment (amendments in lieu)

If several Lords Amendments are grouped together, the debate can cover all the Lords Amendments, and any selected amendments to them, in the group. When the debate ends, a decision will be made on the first Lords Amendment in the group. Formal decisions (with no further debate) on whether to agree or disagree to the other Lords Amendments in the group are made as set out in the programme motion or, if there isn’t one, in the order in which the Lords Amendments are published on the Lords Amendment list.