Outline of the 2015 standing orders

27.8The new standing orders are applicable only to government bills and to statutory instruments that are to be subject to certain further proceedings. The starting point for the application of the procedures in almost all cases is a system of certification, whereby the Speaker determines if a bill, provisions within a bill or an entire instrument meet the two criteria: relating exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and within devolved legislative competence. The process of initial certification of bills and certification of instruments, the interpretation of the key criteria, the processes for certification and for subsequent certification prior to third reading, are considered further at paras 27.10–27.16.

In relation to bills or provisions within them that are certified, an additional legislative stage is required when all other stages prior to third reading have been completed, under which Members representing only constituencies in England, or England and Wales, give legislative consent in respect of the certified bill or provisions. This takes place on the floor of the House in a Legislative Grand Committee or Legislative Grand Committees. Further stages are provided for in cases where no consent motion is agreed to or the motion or motions do not relate to all certified provisions. All of these proceedings are considered at paras 27.17–27.20.

The principle of legislative consent in relation to provisions which relate exclusively to a relevant territorial area and are within devolved legislative competence applies to consideration of Lords Amendments to a qualifying Commons bill and Lords messages in respect of subsequent stages on such bills and the stages arising from Commons amendments to a Lords bill. The arrangements for the certification of relevant motions and for deciding the question on such motions are described at paras 27.21–27.24.

The procedures for deciding the question on relevant motions relating to secondary legislation are set out at para 27.25.

Although the new procedures operate generally in relation only to legislation relating exclusively to England, or England and Wales, standing orders provide for adaptations of the procedures in respect of taxation measures which can apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland in relation to the tax powers of the Scottish Parliament. This affects Finance Bills, motions for founding resolutions for such bills and certain financial instruments. These tax-related adaptations are described in at paras 27.26–27.28.

Finally, the way in which the system of programming for government bills is adapted to relevant proceedings arising from the 2015 standing orders is examined at para 27.29.