Question to be put at a specified point or elapse of time

20.50Standing orders in a number of circumstances provide for the putting of the question, or for the debate to be ended in other ways, either after the elapse of a specified period of time, or by a particular time of day, or both:

  • The House is adjourned by the Speaker half an hour after a motion for the adjournment has been made at or after the moment of interruption, without putting any question: Standing Order No 9(7).
  • Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings under any Act of Parliament or on European Union documents must be put no later than one-and-a-half hours after the commencement of those proceedings (subject to the provisions of Standing Order No 17, see next indent): Standing Order No 16.
  • Motions to annul statutory instruments must be brought to a conclusion one-and-a-half hours after the moment of interruption, with a discretion for the Speaker to adjourn the debate if the time allowed has not been adequate: Standing Order No 17.
  • The question on a motion to approve an order under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, s 1 must be put not later than one-and-a-half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion if the Regulatory Reform Committee has recommended such approval after a division: Standing Order No 18(1)(b).
  • The questions necessary to dispose of a motion to disagree with a report from the Regulatory Reform Committee that a draft order should not be approved must be put not later than three hours after their commencement: Standing Order No 18(2).
  • An application for an emergency debate to discuss a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration may not last more than three minutes: Standing Order No 24.
  • Proceedings on an emergency debate standing over from an application previously made under Standing Order No 24 are interrupted by the Speaker after the time allocated by the Speaker, without a requirement to put the question: Standing Order No 24(3).
  • Proceedings on a motion that the House has considered a specified matter under Standing Order No 24A (topical debates) are interrupted after one-and-a-half hours.
  • Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on a Money or Ways and Means resolution must be put not later than three-quarters of an hour after the commencement of proceedings, unless the motion is moved at the same sitting as that at which the bill has been read a second time, when the question is put forthwith: Standing Order No 52(1)(b).
  • Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on a motion providing for the allocation of time to any proceedings on a bill must be put not more than three hours after the commencement of those proceedings: Standing Order No 83.
  • Questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on a programme motion in the excepted circumstances provided for by the Standing Order must be put not later than three-quarters of an hour after the commencement of proceedings: Standing Order No 83A(12).

Standing Order No 15(1)(c) provides that questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on a motion relating to the nomination or discharge of members of select committees appointed under Standing Order No 152 (select committees related to government departments) which has previously been opposed at or after the interruption of business on a preceding day must be put one hour after the moment of interruption or one hour after the commencement of those proceedings, whichever is the later.1

Standing Order No 23 allows a brief explanatory statement from the Member who makes and from a Member who opposes a motion for leave to introduce a bill,2 but then requires the Speaker to put the question on that motion.3 The practice of the House is to permit a maximum of ten minutes on each such brief statement (see para 19.28 ).

Similarly, under Standing Order No 63, if a motion to commit a bill to a public bill committee in respect of some of its provisions and to a Committee of the whole House in respect of other provisions, or under Standing Order No 74, a motion to re-commit a bill, is opposed, the Speaker may permit a brief explanatory statement from the Member who makes and from a Member who opposes the motion, and is then required to put the question. By practice, such statements are also limited to ten minutes.

Footnotes

  1. Order Paper, 19 March 2019, Item 6 (Foreign Affairs Committee).
  2. Or for the nomination of select committees.
  3. Or the question ‘That the debate be now adjourned’.