Debates end when they run out of time or speakers—whichever happens first.
Many debates last for fixed time. This can be a specific time at which the debate must end or a length of time it can continue for (for example, three hours). This is indicated on the Order Paper.
Each day has a regular time when the main business usually ends. It’s called the moment of interruption.
Certain types of debate have a length of time set down for them in Standing Orders (the House’s rules). For example, debates on delegated legislation in the Chamber can last for up to an hour and a half. Alternatively, the House can agree motions to create a fixed time for particular debates using:
- programme motions, for a bill
- Business of the House motions, for other debates: these can be moved on a previous day, earlier the same day, or at the moment of interruption
There are procedures you can use to try to end a debate early. Moving the closure is relatively common. Other procedures—such as a dilatory motion, a motion to sit in private and the previous question—are rarer.
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