The Bill has now had both its first and seconds readings in the House of Commons and now moves onto the committee stage. So, what does this mean for our campaign against it?
At the first reading the title of the Bill was read out. That was it. No speeches and no debate. At the second reading a short debate was held and a vote taken on whether it should proceed to the next stage. As we know that was passed so the next part of the process is the committee stage. This is due to start on 13 October and will finish by 27 October, although it could be earlier. During the committee stage written and oral evidence is considered by a small group of MP’s and amendments to the Bill are debated. Once the committee stage has finished the Bill moves onto the report stage and third reading. This is likely to take place in November and is where things can get interesting. All MP’s can take part in the report stage and are able to speak, put forward amendments and then vote. It is this part of the process we need to influence through our mass lobby of MPs on 2 November.
Our primary aim, of course, is to see the Bill defeated but if we can’t achieve that we need to get amendments to it passed that will lessen as far as possible the worst aspects of it. By lobbying your MP you can help persuade them to vote against the Bill or in favour of amendments. Many Tory MP’s are sceptical about the Bill, especially those parts which attack civil rights. David Davis MP has attacked sections of the bill, likening them to something out of Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. So while it will not be easy we do need to put the pressure on all MPs.
You can follow the Bill’s progress through parliament here.
Further info on the lobby and how to get involved in the campaign against the Bill can be found here.