Third Reading

This stage is normally at least three days after report and may last one or two days. Until Third Reading, the stages in the Commons and the Lords are broadly comparable. Whereas in the Lower House, the Third Reading is a debate looking back at the Bill's progress and forward to its implementation, in the Upper House it provides a further, and final, opportunity for amendments.

Technically, a Bill receives its formal Third Reading in the Lords without debate. Peers then debate its passage, moving and considering amendments and often revisiting key arguments made at earlier stages. Divisions may be taken.

After Third Reading, if the Bill started in the Lords, it is passed to the Commons, if it started in the Commons and has been amended, it is passed back to the Commons for consideration and if it started in the Commons and is unamended in the Lords, it goes for Royal Assent.

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