Bills referred to Grand Committees as alternative to second reading debate

27.3When the order is read for second reading of a bill that has been certified as relating exclusively to Scotland (or that has been ordered to be proceeded with as if it had been so certified), a motion may be made by a Minister to refer the bill to the Scottish Grand Committee. The question thereon is put forthwith and may be decided at any hour, though opposed. Such a motion may also be made, with the leave of the House, by the Member in charge of a Private Member's Bill.1 When a bill is so referred, the Scottish Grand Committee considers it in relation to its principle and reports that fact to the House, or reports that the committee has come to no resolution, and the bill is then ordered to be read a second time on a future day. When subsequently the order for second reading is read, the House may consider a motion for committal (see para 27.4 ) and, if this motion is agreed to, the bill is deemed to have been read a second time.2 There are broadly similar arrangements for bills to be referred to the Welsh or Northern Ireland Grand Committee in place of a second reading debate on the floor of the House, but there is no certification procedure in respect of bills relating to Northern Ireland and no definitional limitation on the bills that may be referred to the Welsh Grand Committee.3


  1. 1. SO No 97(2).
  2. 2. SO No 97(3)–(6). On procedure in Scottish Grand Committee, see Erskine May (23rd edn, 2004), pp 827–29.
  3. 3. SO Nos 106 and 113. See Erskine May (23rd edn, 2004), pp 588–89.