Instruments subject to affirmative resolution procedure

18.25For those instruments which are subject to affirmative resolution procedure, it is necessary for the Government to secure the approval of the House before (or, in a small number of cases, within a specified time after) the instrument comes into effect.1 The majority of statutory instruments are now debated in Delegated Legislation Committee and not on the Floor of the House (see para 39.34 ff). Debate in Committee takes place upon a neutral and unamendable motion that ‘The Committee has considered the [instrument]’. Following debate in Committee, the motion to approve the instrument is taken forthwith on the floor of the House, usually following the moment of interruption.

Those instruments that are debated in the chamber are subject to the provisions of Standing Order No 16, limiting debate to one-and-a-half hours from whenever proceedings on such instruments begin. Such proceedings are exempt from interruption. Examples of instruments commonly debated in the Chamber include grant reports setting out the Government's determination of annual grants to be paid to local authorities and police forces. In some cases, a Business of the House Order is made providing for a combined debate on a number of instruments for a longer period of time.2


  1. 1. For a detailed account of this procedure, see para 31.13.
  2. 2. CJ (2004–05) 135; ibid (2008–09) 107; ibid (2009–10) 169.