In the Commons

30.41There are nowadays no rules in the Commons which forbid the taking of several or all of the stages of a bill at one sitting other than the rules for bills brought in upon Ways and Means resolutions described at para 33.23. Nonetheless, it is standard practice for a period of time to elapse between each stage. There are exceptions to that practice:

  • Report stage and third reading of a bill are routinely taken on the same day. Programme motions will almost invariably so provide for government bills, and Standing Order No 77(2) disapplies the former rule in respect of the interval between these stages in respect of bills brought in upon Ways and Means resolutions.
  • Standing orders prescribe an expedited procedure for Consolidated Fund and Appropriation Bills (under Standing Order No 56) (see para 34.39 ).
  • It may be deemed expedient to pass legislation urgently in response to an emergency situation.
  • The Member in charge of a bill may seek to accelerate its passage through the House by moving a motion that the next stage be taken immediately. In practice, this is now likely to arise only in relation to a Private Member's Bill.

The last two of these exceptions are discussed in more detail below.