Debates on statutory instruments

All affirmative instruments, unless withdrawn, revoked or lapsed, will be debated in the House of Commons and, if laid, in the House of Lords. Negative instruments can also be debated in either House if a prayer has been tabled against the instrument and time has been allocated.

Affirmative instruments

The following queries are separated by where affirmative instruments were laid, whether it be in the House of Commons only or both Houses. The second query will show the debates of both Houses.

Affirmative instruments not debated before being approved

Affirmative instruments are usually debated before the Question to approve the instrument is put before the House. Occasionally, for different reasons, an instrument may not be debated and the Question be put forthwith. The following queries show these instruments.

Statement by the Chair of a DLC that there can be no further debate on the instrument

In the House of Commons a debate on a statutory instrument will either happen in a delegated legislation committee(DLC) or the Chamber. A debate will only take place once. To indicate that a debate has taken place in a DLC, there will be a motion to consider agreed or disagreed at the end of the debate. In February 2023 we saw a situation where an instrument’s motion to consider was not formally moved at the end of debate. This should not have happened. Instead, the motion to approve the instrument that takes place in the Chamber was intended to be delayed. The motion to consider should have gone through as normal. At the end of debate the Minister indicated the instrument would be brought back to DLC for further debate.

As this contradicts the notion that an instrument will only be debated once, when the instrument was brought back to DLC the Chair made it clear that further debate would not take place and the question on the motion to consider would be put immediately.

As agreed with the Clerk of Legislation, we did not reflect this DLC as a debate. Instead we added a new step to the made affirmative map to show that a statement was made by the Chair and that the question was put immediately.

Type of debate

The following queries break the above queries down further into type of debate so whether they took place in the chamber or in committee.

Negative instruments

The following queries look at instruments that had a prayer tabled against them in one House and then debated. We’ve not grouped instruments by which House they were laid into because negative instruments will only be debated in a House where a prayer has been tabled and this does not always happen in both Houses. The queries also show the type of prayer tabled for information.

Type of debate

As above, these queries break the queries down further into type of debate so if you’re only interested in debates that took place in a Delegated Legislation Committee or a Grand Committee.