Stages of a Bill through the House

First reading is simply reading out the title of the Bill. No debate.

Second reading is a general debate on the Bill, allowing the House to air all the problems they can see in the Bill.

Committee Stage we put all our amendments to try to improve the Bill. All amendments are debated and then withdrawn without any votes.

Report Stage we bring back our most important amendments, debate them, then vote on some of them if they have enough support.

Third Reading is for tidying up the Bill but sometimes there are still battles.

Ping Pong once the Bill has passed all these stages in both Commons and Lords, it “ping pongs” between both Houses until they agree on all their amendments. The Government usually uses their majority in the Commons to strip out all the Lords’ amendments. Sometimes the Lords ask the Commons to “think again”, but eventually the Lords defer to the will of the elected chamber.

Royal Assent once the Bill has been fully approved by both Houses of Parliament, it goes to the Monarch for her formal approval and becomes law.