Clear the Lobby: What laws are MPs voting on this week? – w/c 2nd July

Clear the Lobby: What laws are MPs voting on this week? – w/c 2nd July

Welcome to our weekly feature courtesy of Sebastian Salek, the brains behind Clear the Lobby, working to bring you all the laws MPs are voting on this week, and explained in plain English!

Lots to fit in as Parliament enters its final few weeks before summer recess. MPs scrutinise spending at the Ministry of Justice, Department for Health and Social Care, and Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The government will also aim to push through its ban on ivory trading, then there’s a whole load of private member’s bills.


Monday 2 July

No votes scheduled


Tuesday 3 July

Pets (Theft) Act
Creates a serious criminal offence that makes the punishment for harming an animal more severe. Ten minute rule motion presented by Ross Thomson..


Wednesday 4 July

International Development (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups) Bill
Aims to protect children and vulnerable adults in receipt of official development assistance and disaster relief. This follows the inquiry on sexual exploitation and the aid sector. Ten minute rule motion presented by Stephen Twigg.

Proceedings on the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill – 2nd and 3rd readings
This wraps up the estimates debates from earlier in the week, a chance for MPs to probe the government’s spending plans.

Ivory Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Bans the dealing of ivory, including buying, selling, lending, brokering, importing and re-exporting. Currently only new ivory is banned, but that was found to be ineffective after people disguised new ivory as antiques. A programme motion is used to agree a timetable for the bill’s progress. The money resolution is necessary because the bill would require spending public money that hasn’t previously been authorised by an Act of Parliament.


Thursday 5 July

No votes scheduled


Friday 6 July

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill – 3rd reading
Raises the standards for the use of force in mental health units. Requires deaths that occur in these situations be investigated. Requires on‐duty police officers to wear an operational body camera whenever they attend a mental health unit. This is a private members’ bill that resulted from the death of a man in 2010 after being restrained by police officers in a mental health unit. A money resolution is an extra stage bills must go through if they propose spending public money on something that hasn’t previously been authorised by Parliament.

Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Allows mobile network operators to disrupt the use of illegal phones in prisons.

Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Creates the position of National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care, who advises public bodies on the processing of health and adult social care data

National Living Wage (Extension to Young People) Bill – 2nd reading
Extends the National Living Wage to people aged 18 to 24.

Illegal Immigration (Offences) Bill – 2nd reading
Makes it a criminal offence to enter the UK illegally or stay in the country without legal authority.

Employment Opportunities Bill – 2nd reading
Aims to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sector.

Bat Habitats Regulation (No. 2) Bill – 2nd reading
Increases the protection available for bat habitats in natural areas, but limits their protection in human-made areas where the bill says bats can have a significant adverse impact upon the users of buildings.

Mobile Homes and Park Homes Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the use of published criteria to determine whether mobile homes and park homes are liable for council tax or non-domestic rates.

Fruit and Vegetables (Classification) Bill – 2nd reading
Classifies fruit and vegetables by flavour, condition and size for the purposes of sale in the UK.

Student Loans (Debt Discharge) Bill – 2nd reading
Allows student loans to be written off in certain circumstances.

Stamp Duty Bill – 2nd reading
Lowers stamp duty rates on residential property.

Fishing (Access to Territorial Waters) Bill – 2nd reading
Restricts the rights of vessels not registered in the UK to fish in territorial waters.

Domestic Energy (Value Added Tax) Bill – 2nd reading
Reduces VAT on domestic energy bills.

Tax Rates and Duties (Review) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the government to publish an annual review of the net yield to the Treasury from tax rates and duties.

Sublet Property (Offences) Bill – 2nd reading
Makes unauthorised sub-letting a criminal offence.

Healthcare (Local Accountability) Bill – 2nd reading
Concerns the accountability of clinical commissioning groups (local health bodies). More information not available because the bill hasn’t been written yet.

Local Roads (Investment) Bill – 2nd reading
Concerns the maintenance and repair of roads by local authorities in England, and the funding to do so. More information not available because the bill hasn’t been written yet.

Legalisation of Cannabis (Medicinal Purposes) Bill – 2nd reading
Allows the production, supply, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes

Local Health Scrutiny Bill – 2nd reading
Increases powers to scrutinise local health bodies, among other things.

Emergency Response Drivers (Protections) Bill – 2nd reading
Prevents drivers of emergency vehicles from being liable under both civil and criminal law in certain situations.

Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill – 2nd reading
Updates the law around drugs testing on prisoners to widen the sort of substances that can be tested for, among other things.

Unsolicited Calls (Prevention) Bill – 2nd reading
Aims to stop nuisance calls by widening the way penalties can be applied, making company directors personally liable, and narrowing the definition of a nuisance call.

Homelessness (End of Life Care) Bill – 2nd reading
Aims to improve end of life care for homeless people who are terminally ill, including an automatic right to housing. Read more in the Independent.

European Union Withdrawal Agreement (Public Vote) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires a second referendum before the UK leaves the EU.

Supervised Drug Consumption Facilities Bill – 2nd reading
Makes it legal to take illicit substances inside a supervised drug consumption facility.

Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Bill – 2nd reading
Introduces an electronic system for marriage registrations and allows details of the spouses’ mothers to be included. Note: the bill itself doesn’t make these changes. Instead, it allows the government to do it by introducing new regulations.

Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) (Amendment) Bill – 2nd reading
Extends the Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009, a law that gives the UK’s major museums the power to return objects stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners or heirs. It’s currently due to expire on 11 November 2019.

Employment Guarantee Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the government to guarantee six months of paid employment for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants (or the jobseeker’s component of Universal Credit) who have been unemployed for six months or longer.

June Bank Holiday (Creation) Bill – 2nd reading
Creates a bank holiday on 23 June (the day of the Brexit vote in 2016), or the first weekday if it falls on a weekend.
Read the latest draft bill

Business of the House Commission Bill – 2nd reading
Creates a committee which decides the parliamentary timetable. This was in the 2010 government’s programme for government, but was never implemented.

Hospital (Parking Charges and Business Rates) Bill – 2nd reading
Bans car parking charges for patients and visitors at NHS hospitals. Makes NHS hospitals exempt from business rates.

Voter Registration (No. 2) Bill – 2nd reading
Bans people from being registered to vote in parliamentary elections at more than one address.

Multi-Employer Pension Schemes Bill – 2nd reading
Protects unincorporated businesses from certain multi-employer pension scheme liabilities, among other things.

Import Tariff (Reduction) Bill – 2nd reading
Cuts tariffs on goods imported into the UK.

Schools Bill – 2nd reading
Allows schools to select pupils based on a published set of criteria and decide on maximum class sizes. Removes restrictions on how quickly schools can grow in terms of number of pupils, and how quickly new schools can be created.

Public Services (Availability) Bill – 2nd reading
Ensures that public services are available during weekday evenings, at weekends and on bank holidays.

Electoral Commission (Duties) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the the Electoral Commission to investigate allegations of electoral fraud and other breaches of electoral law, and to prosecute any offences.

Armed Forces (Volunteer Reserve) Bill – 2nd reading
Creates a new faction of Volunteer Reserves in the Armed Forces, and sets out eligibility criteria for their deployment.

Manufactured Goods (Trade) Bill – 2nd reading
Removes certain restrictions on the production and sale of goods that are both made and used in the UK after Brexit.

Public Sector Exit Payments (Limitation) Bill – 2nd reading
Caps exit payments made to outgoing employees of public sector organisations.

International Payments (Audit) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires a cost-benefit analysis and an independent audit before financial aid is given to another country or an international organisation.

Criminal Fraud (Private Prosecutions) Bill – 2nd reading
Relates to private prosecutions (when a private individual or organisation takes someone to court on a criminal charge) in cases of suspected criminal fraud. Details beyond that are scant because a draft hasn’t been published.

Affordable Home Ownership Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the inclusion of rent to buy homes in the definition of affordable housing, ensures a minimum proportion of new affordable housing is available on affordable rent to buy terms, and abolishes stamp duty for rent to buy homes.

Plastics Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the government to set, measure, enforce and report on targets for reducing and recycling plastic packaging. Requires those targets to match EU goals after Brexit. Requires the government to support the development of sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging.

Terms of Withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the government to put the final Brexit deal to a binding referendum, with the alternative being to remain in the EU.

Clean Air Bill – 2nd reading
Requires the government to set and enforce air quality targets, and reduce air pollution using clean air zones (among other methods). Also introduces new laws about vehicle emission testing and restricts the sale of vehicles with certain engine types.

Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill – 2nd reading
Widens the scope of bodies that people can make Freedom of Information requests to. Make providers of social housing, local safeguarding children boards, Electoral Registration Officers, Returning Officers and the Housing Ombudsman public authorities so they are covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Also makes information held by contractors working for public authorities subject to the Act.

Postal Voting Bill – 2nd reading
Creates new offences around postal voting corruption, e.g. preventing campaigners from handling postal voting documents issued to other people.

Tyres (Buses and Coaches) Bill – 2nd reading
Introduces limits on the age of tyre and bus coaches.

National Health Service (Co-Funding and Co-Payment) Bill – 2nd reading
Introduces co-funding in the NHS (allowing patients to pay for part of their care), which is currently not permitted. Expands the limited forms of co-payment that already exist.

Local Authorities (Borrowing and Investment) Bill – 2nd reading
Limits the power of local authorities to invest in commercial risk-taking enterprises and limits public borrowing by local authorities for non-core activities, among other things.

Principal Local Authorities (Grounds for Abolition) Bill – 2nd reading
Prevents principal local authorities from being abolished unless it’s approved by the majority of its councillors and a local referendum.

Coastal Path (Definition) Bill – 2nd reading
Changes the legal definition of a coastal path in England to exclude river estuaries, among other things.

Judicial Appointments and Retirements (Age Limits) Bill – 2nd reading
Scraps compulsory retirement for judges on the grounds of age, and removes upper age limits for appointment as a judge.

BBC Licence Fee (Civil Penalty) Bill – 2nd reading
Decriminalises the non-payment of the BBC licence fee.

International Development Assistance (Definition) Bill – 2nd reading
Changes the definition of international development assistance. Details beyond that are scant because a draft hasn’t been published.

Benefits and Public Services (Restriction) Bill – 2nd reading
Restricts non-UK citizens’ access to benefits and other public services.

Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill – 2nd reading
Regulates the use and sale of e-cigarettes. Also exempts them from any UK laws made as a result of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive, such as size limits on e-cigarette tanks and refill containers, requirements that they be child proof, and obligatory health warnings on packages.

Kew Gardens (Leases) (No.2) Bill – 2nd reading
Extends the length of time Kew Gardens is allowed to lease land for to 150 years, from 31 years currently. This could include residential or commercial use. The aim is to help Kew increase its self-generated income.

Rivers Authorities and Land Drainage Bill – 2nd reading
Among other things, allows the government to establish local rivers authorities, which would deal with flood risk management. The bill is aimed at turning the Somerset Rivers Authority (which was formed in response to the floods of 2013 and 2014) into a statutory body.

Wild Animals in Circuses Bill – 2nd reading
Bans the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

Forensic Science Regulator Bill – 2nd reading
Creates a Forensic Science Regulator which would publish and enforce a code of practice for forensic science.

Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill – 2nd reading
Updates animal welfare legislation to include service animals


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