Consideration of amendments

Each House considers the other’s amendments

When a Bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for the second House's amendments (proposals for change) to be considered.

Both Houses must agree on the exact wording of the Bill.

There is no set time period between the third reading of a Bill and consideration of any Commons or Lords amendments.

'Ping Pong'

If the Commons makes amendments to the Bill, the Lords must consider them and either agree or disagree to the amendments or make alternative proposals.

If the Lords disagrees with any Commons amendments, or makes alternative proposals, then the Bill is sent back to the Commons.

A Bill may go back and forth between each House (‘Ping Pong’) until both Houses reach agreement.

What happens after consideration of amendments?

Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version of the Bill, it can receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill now become law).

In exceptional cases, when the two Houses do not reach agreement, the Bill falls. If certain conditions are met, the Commons can use the Parliament Acts to pass the Bill, without the consent of the Lords, in the following session.

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Related Information

When a Bill passes back and forth between the two Houses debating amendments to the Bill, the descriptive term ‘Ping Pong’ is often used.

The Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 increased the authority of the Commons over the Lords when passing new laws.

The Acts removed the powers of the Lords to amend any Bills concerning money and reduced the amount of time they could delay a Bill.

View how the Lords voted on amendments to Bills – results available soon after the vote takes place:

  • Lords Divisions Analysis
  • Track the progress of all Bills: