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Procedure and Privileges

Volume 814: debated on Monday 6 September 2021

Motion to Agree

Moved by

That the Report from the Select Committee Sitting times of Grand Committees; Timetabling of Thursday debates; Legislative Consent Motions for Lords Private Members’ Bills (2nd Report, HL Paper 61) be agreed to.

My Lords, the three proposals in the report before the House concern matters previously considered by the House in July 2021 and October 2020. Noble Lords will recall that the first two issues fulfil undertakings in the report that the House agreed on 13 July. That report established the nature of the business in the Chamber from today, as we return from hybrid to physical sittings. Accordingly, the report before the House makes a recommendation on the sitting times for Grand Committee, bearing in mind, among other things, the new timings for Oral Questions and Private Notice Questions. It also makes a recommendation on a more streamlined way for timetabling Thursday debates.

The third issue concerns Private Members’ Bills. In October 2020, the House agreed to a proposal from the committee that Ministers should explain to the House before Third Reading any circumstances where a devolved Assembly has not provided its legislative consent to the Bill. This requirement does not fit well with Lords starting Private Members’ Bills, for which the normal expectation is that legislative consent is sought before Committee stage in the other place. Should we fail to address this, a ministerial Statement will almost always be needed, but will add no obvious value to the House and will risk asking devolved Assemblies to spend their time considering questions of legislative consent on measures that may have little prospect of reaching the statute book. I beg to move.

Motion agreed.