Period of notice

20.4In general, substantive motions require notice before they can be moved, whilst subsidiary motions do not.1 Except where the length of notice required is laid down in standing orders, notice means at least one preceding sitting day. This means that relevant business for a day can be tabled right up to the close of business the preceding sitting day.2 Notices of motion to which opposition seems unlikely to arise are frequently given during the day before the sitting on which the motions are to be submitted to the House, although the Speaker has deprecated the delaying of notice so as to deprive Members of an opportunity of learning the terms of a motion.3 A minimum of five (and a maximum of fifteen) sitting days' notice is required under Standing Order No 23 for leave to bring in a bill (see paras 18.40, 28.4 ); and under Standing Order No 90 at least ten days' notice must be given of motions at the commencement of public business to refer a bill to a second reading committee. Under Standing Order No 121, two sitting days' notice must be given of a motion or an amendment relating to the nomination of Members for service on select committees. For notice periods relating to amendments to bills, see Chapter 28. Under Standing Order No 22, notice of an amendment to a motion for which no day has been fixed (an Early Day Motion), or of the addition of a name in support of such a motion or amendment, if given later than half an hour after the moment of interruption, is treated as if it were a notice handed in after the rising of the House on that day.


  1. Parl Deb (1907) 171, c 680–81.
  2. Parl Deb (1871) 207, c 143.
  3. HC Deb (1985–86) 93, cc 568–69. For a case where a manuscript amendment was selected to a business motion, see HC Deb (20 June 2018) 643, c 358.