Second reading is your chance to talk about the purpose of the bill. It’s the first time the bill is debated.

The debate usually takes a whole sitting (about five or six hours), after which MPs decide whether the bill should pass to the next stage. Occasionally, second reading debates for major bills take place over two days.

It’s possible for a bill to have a second reading with no debate, as long as MPs agree to the bill’s progress.

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Public Bill Office