Clear the Lobby: What laws are MPs voting on this week? – w/c 7th May

Clear the Lobby: What laws are MPs voting on this week? – w/c 7th May

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

Lots of smaller laws this week, as the Brexit bill trundles on in the Lords. Friday brings another day of private members’ bills.


Monday 7 May

No votes scheduled


Tuesday 8 May

Protection of Pollinators Bill
Creates a framework to provide new habitats for bees and butterflies and provide new habitats when land is built on. Ten minute rule motion presented by Ben Bradley MP.

Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Ensures that social housing tenants with a lifetime lease who need to leave their home because of domestic abuse are granted a new lifetime tenancy in the property they move to. This creates an exception to rules in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which will require local authorities in England to offer only fixed-term tenancies when they come into force. Started in the Lords, so closer to becoming law than if it started in the Commons.

Nuclear Safeguards Bill – consideration of Lords amendments
Creates the legal framework to maintain the UK’s current level of nuclear safety after Brexit. This is currently handled by Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community). This is th! final stage before the bill becomes law!


Wednesday 9 May
European Union Withdrawal Agreement (Public Vote) Bill
Requires a second referendum before the UK leaves the EU. Ten minute rule motion presented by Gareth Thomas MP.

Data Protection Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Overhauls the UK’s existing data protection laws to keep up with technological change. It complements the General Data Protection Regulation, a piece of EU legislation that comes into effect on 25 May. Some parts of the GDPR allow member states a certain degree of flexibility, and this bill outlines the UK’s position in those areas. It started life in the Lords, so it’s closer to becoming law than if it had started in the Commons.


Thursday 10 May

No votes scheduled


Friday 11 May

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill – report stage and 3rd reading
Gives employees whose children have died the right to at least two weeks bereavement leave, bereavement pay (if they’ve been employed for at least six months), and the same job protection as someone going on maternity leave.

Representation of the People (Young People’s Enfranchisement) Bill – 2nd reading
Lowers the voting age to 16 for parliamentary elections, local elections and referendums. Puts citizenship and constitution eduction on the National Curriculum from ages 4-16.

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.

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.

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.

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

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) – 2nd reading
Scraps compulsory retirement for judges on the grounds of age, and removes upper age limits for appointment as a judge.

Access to Radiotherapy Bill – 2nd reading
Aims to improve access to radiotherapy in England by not requiring patients to travel more than 45 minutes for treatment.

Voyeurism (Offences) Bill – 2nd reading
Makes it a criminal offence to take an image or video up somebody’s clothing in order to see their genitals or underwear.

Housing and Planning (Local Decision-making) Bill – 2nd reading
Transfers the power to decide on the location and planning permission of new housing developments from central government to local authorities. Also gives them the power to establish requirements, such as the proportion of affordable and social housing.

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.

Universal Credit (Application, Advice and Assistance) Bill – 2nd reading
A wide-ranging bill reforming the universal credit system (benefits for those who are on low incomes or out of work). Among other things, it requires the government to pay claimants within a month of a valid application being been made (subject to some exceptions), outlines minimum payment options that must be explained clearly to claimants, and allows terminally ill claimants to continue receiving payments without having to work.

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) (No.2) Bill – 2nd reading
Legalises gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

House of Lords (Exclusion of Hereditary Peers) Bill – 2nd reading
Gradually removes hereditary peers from the House of Lords by scrapping the by-elections that are held to elect a new one when one of them dies.

Private Landlords (Registration) Bill – 2nd reading
Requires all private landlords to be registered.

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.

Pedicabs (London) Bill – 2nd reading
Allows Transport for London to regulate pedicabs (bikes with a trailer attached for carrying passengers). Includes a wide range of possible regulations, including licensing, fares, safety, working conditions and speed restrictions.

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

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.

Road Traffic Offenders (Surrender of Driving Licences etc) (No.2) Bill – 2nd reading
Allows drivers to accept a fixed penalty notice or conditional offer without having to hand over or post in their licence, among other things.


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