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Debating and voting on amendments

At both committee stage and report stage, amendments are debated in the order indicated on the Chair’s selection list. The MP who tabled the amendment that heads each group (known as the lead amendment) will be called to move it and speak about it. MPs who tabled other amendments in the group can speak about their amendment in the debate on that group. Once the debate on that group is over, debate on the next group begins.

At committee stage, decisions are made when the Chair reaches the clause that the amendment affects. Unless a programme order says differently, the committee makes decisions in the following order:

  • clauses (including any amendments to those clauses)
  • new clauses
  • schedules (including any amendments to those schedules)
  • new schedules

At report stage, decisions are made in the following order:

  • new clauses
  • amendments to clauses
  • new schedules
  • amendments to schedules

It’s possible for the debate on an amendment and the decision on that amendment to take place at different times. For example, if the Government have tabled an amendment to schedule 1 at committee stage, and it has been grouped with an amendment that relates to clause 2, the debate will take place when the committee reaches clause 2 of the bill, but the decision won’t take place until the committee reaches schedule 1.

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Public Bill Office