Parliamentary Procedures

Green Papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. Often when
a Government Department is considering introducing a new law, it will put together a discussion document called a Green Paper. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to debate the subject and give the department feedback on its suggestions.

White Papers are documents produced by the Government setting out details of future
policy on a particular subject. A White Paper will often be the basis for a Bill to be put
before Parliament. The White Paper allows the Government an opportunity to gather feedback before it presents the policies as a Bill.

During the Party Political Conference Season in the Autumn, representatives from national disability organisations attend each of the majorParty Conferences. They inform and advise MP delegates on all aspects of disability.

Following the Conferences, the Queen’s Speech outlines Government legislative programme for the year to come. Disability organisations look carefully at any legislative proposals which will affect the lives of people with disabilities and their carers, and use the mechanism and opportunity of Parliamentary lobbying to influence the legislation and Government Policy.

Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. EDMs are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view. Although there is very little prospect of EDMs being debated, many attract a great deal of public interest and frequently receive media coverage

A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law, that is presented for debate before Parliament. Bills are introduced in either the House of Commons or House of Lords for examination, discussion and amendment. When both Houses have agreed on the content of a Bill it is then presented to the reigning monarch for approval (known as Royal Assent). Once Royal Assent is given a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and is law. All pass through the following stages before they can become Law.

First Reading authorises the printing of a Bill. The public may buy copies of all Common Bills published by The Stationery Office (TSO) either online from the

TSO Online Bookshop Bookshop,
Blackwell Bookshop,
Cardiff University Union,
Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AZ
Tel: 029 2034 0673
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Second Reading: Main opportunity to debate the Bill.
Committee Stage: Various Committees undertake a clause by clause analysis of the Bill
with powers to make amendments.
Report Stage: A further chance to consider amendments and other changes may be made.
Third Reading: Final form of the Bill has to be agreed by the House before going to:
House of Lords: Here the Bill passes through the same stages mentioned above, except that a  A Committee of the whole House of Lords is almost invariably involved in the
Committee Stage.
All amendments are considered and may be moved at third reading.
Amendments Passed By The Lords have to be mutually agreed by both Houses of Parliament.
Following this agreement, Royal Assent is obtained and the Bill becomes an Act in force on a date specified in one of its clauses, or subject to regulations issued by the Secretary of State at a later date.

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