The European Scrutiny Committee can recommend that an EU document is debated in the Chamber if it considers it’s of particular political and legal importance. The debate can happen only if the Government are willing to schedule time for it.
The Government will table a motion about the European document and this is what will be debated. You can find the motion on the Order Paper in the Future Business and European Business sections. You can submit amendments to the motion, via the Table Office.
If you want to speak in a debate on an EU document in the Chamber, you should write to the Speaker in advance. A minister will move the motion and make a speech. The Speaker will usually call a frontbencher from the official Opposition, a backbencher from the Government side, and a frontbencher from the third largest party to make speeches early in the debate.
The Speaker will call any other MPs who want to speak to the motion, including any MP who’s tabled an amendment that the Speaker has selected.
Chamber debates on EU documents usually last up to 90 minutes, but the Government can table a motion to extend the time.
At the end of the debate, the minister will respond. Then the House will decide on any amendment to the motion and then on the motion itself, with votes if necessary.
If you’re taking part in a Chamber debate on a European document, you might find it useful to have:
- the EU document(s) under consideration
- the explanatory memorandum from the Government
- the relevant European Scrutiny Committee report, which provides an introduction to the document and explains why the Committee has recommended debating it
A document pack, including the documents above, is normally prepared and is available from the Vote Office.