Emergency bill passed through all stages in one day

Some paragraphs in this section have been updated, added or deleted since the publication of the current edition. The most recent updates, made July 2021, can be highlighted by clicking ‘Highlight updates’ below. Read a summary and schedule of latest updates here.

30.42When a pressing emergency arises, a bill may pass through all its stages on the same day.1 The previous practices of first inviting the House to agree to a motion giving leave for such a bill to be brought in,1 or to a paving procedural motion,2 are no longer followed. Such bills are now presented under Standing Order No 57 and proceeded with under the terms of a business of the House motion, which will typically enable Members to table amendments before second reading and which may allocate time for different stages.3

A bill has been brought from the Lords, passed through all stages, and returned to the Lords on the same day.4 Bills have also been passed by both Houses,5 and received the Royal Assent,6 on the same day. Leave has been given to bring in a bill, which has then passed through all its stages in both Houses and received the Royal Assent on the same day.7


  1. 1. CJ (1971–72) 171; ibid (1973–74) 156.
  2. 2. CJ (1979–80) 806; ibid (1995–96) 280–84 (in which case proceedings were also subject to an allocation of time order).
  3. 3. Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Bill, CJ (1997–98) 746; Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) (No. 2) Bill, CJ (2006–07) 257; Banking (Special Provisions) Bill, CJ (2007–08) 196; Mental Health (Approval Functions) Bill, CJ (2010–12) 296; Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill, Votes and Proceedings, 20 March 2018; Northern Ireland (Regional Rates and Energy) Bill, Votes and Proceedings, 21 March 2018. See also the Business of the House motion in respect of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill, a Private Member’s Bill, Votes and Proceedings, 3 April 2019. For a motion moved under SO No 24 (emergency debates) to timetable proceedings on the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill, a Private Member's Bill, see Votes and Proceedings, 3 September 2019. Parliament was recalled on 30 December 2020 to consider the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill introduced under SO No 57: a Business of the House motion provided for all stages from second to third reading to be completed by a certain time, which resulted in all questions in Committee of the whole House being put forthwith, with no debate and no possibility of amendments being moved. The House of Lords considered the Bill later on the same day, with Royal Assent being signified soon after midnight, hours before the end of the transition period for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union at 11 pm on 31 December 2020: Votes and Proceedings, 30 December 2020, HC Deb (2019–21) 684 cc 513, 594.
  4. 4. CJ (1849) 475, 477.
  5. 5. CJ (1802–03) 645, 646, 647; ibid (1883) 126, 128; LJ (1883) 76; CJ (1914) 427; LJ (1914) 377; CJ (1914) 464; LJ (1914) 420.
  6. 6. CJ (1741–45) 636–39; ibid (1796–97) 555, 557, 558; ibid (1866) 87, 88, 89; ibid (1914) 407, etc; ibid (1930–31) 423, 424, 425; ibid (1936–37) 57, 58; ibid (1938–39) 410; ibid (1965–66) 11, 12 (the latter two bills were presented in the House of Commons on the previous sitting day); LJ (1971–72) 159.
  7. 7. CJ (1971–72) 171; LJ (1971–72) 159.