The closure

25.54The closure (that is, the motion ‘that the question be now put’) is not debatable and so requires an immediate conclusion. It is considered a most exceptional procedure.1 When a Member of the Lords seeks to move the closure the Lord Speaker brings the attention of the House to its exceptional nature and gives the Member of the Lords concerned the opportunity of reconsidering their action by reading the following paragraph before the question is put:

‘I am instructed by order of the House to say that the motion “That the question be now put” is considered to be a most exceptional procedure and the House will not accept it save in circumstances where it is felt to be the only means of ensuring the proper conduct of the business of the House; further, if a Lord who seeks to move it persists in his intention, the practice of the House is that the question on the motion is put without debate.’

If, nevertheless, the Member of the Lords who is seeking to move the closure persists in their intention, the Lord Speaker puts and completes the question forthwith without debate.

If the closure is carried the Lord Speaker immediately puts and completes the original question without further debate; the original question cannot be withdrawn, because the House has decided that the question be now put; and no other question can be put until the original question has been disposed of.

Footnotes

  1. 1. LJ (1960–61) 359; ibid (1970–71) 467, 508; HL Deb (1984–85) 464, c 718; LJ (1998–99) 631. The closure motion was twice agreed to on division in the course of proceedings on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2011: Minutes of Proceedings, 17 January 2011 and 19 January 2011. It was agreed to six times in one day on proceedings relating to withdrawing from the European Union: Minutes of Proceedings, 4 April 2019.