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Rules: weekly business


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The weekly round

Every RL week covers two months in PolUK. That week runs from 6pm Sunday to the following Sunday at 6pm (UK time). During that week, there are Parliamentary debates, policy scenarios, press events, and they are followed by feedback and polling. 

Each RL week, the Government has legislative time for three policy debates: at least one piece of legislation, and up to two substantive ministerial statements (substantive means any policy change is announced). The Government is expected to use at least two of these slots.

Each RL week, the opposition has an opposition day (see below).

There will be press cycles, live events, and so on covering all of this activity.

The Government may make further statements that are not substantive policy statements (e.g. reporting a foreign visit, or responding to a scenario); and any MP may post a motion for debate (with no guarantee it will be voted on)

The Government (and opposition) must meet a couple of deadlines in that period:

By 6pm Monday (UK time):

  • The Prime Minister or Leader of the House must make a business statement, of the form:

The Business for the House of Commons in the coming two months shall include:

1. [Short summary - e.g. "debate on a Bill to ban the live export of animals"]

2. [Short summary]

3. [Short summary]

  • The Shadow Leader of the House or Leader of the Opposition must reply with the topic of the Opposition Day debate.

By 6pm Tuesday (UK time)

  • The Government must have introduced any legislation or statements relating to the above. If they are not introduced by this deadline, then they may still be introduced but will be carried over to the following week too (e.g. they use up one of the following week's slots)
  • The Opposition must have tabled its opposition day.

At 6pm Saturday (UK time)

  • Debate on all Bills published in time will close, and voting will start.

At 6pm Sunday (UK time)

  • Vote results are announced, and the weekly round ends.

Business of the House of Commons

Government Business: The Government generally controls business before the House of Commons. Government business is any business announced at the start of the week. The Government may also grant a vote on any motion it chooses by informing the speaker.

Opposition Days: Opposition days are times at which the Opposition is allowed to move a motion or a bill forward for debate and a vote. There are a two rules regarding Opposition Days that are somewhat important to note:

  • Opposition Day bills and motions cannot obligate the Government to spend money or change tax laws unless agreed to by the Government: doing so requires either a "Money Resolution" or a "Ways and Means Resolution" which, per the Standing Orders, may only be made at the recommendation of a Minister of the Crown.
  • Opposition Day bills and motions cannot alter royal prerogative or impact the interests of the Crown unless agreed to by the Government: such legislation, to proceed to a vote, would require the consent of the Sovereign, which will be granted or refused on the advice of the Government.

Any legislation falling under these criteria may be killed at Second Reading should the Government not agree to debate the legislation.

Opposition days may either:

  •  Move a motion for debate and vote (with the phrase "Mr Speaker, I move that this motion be debated on an Opposition day.")
  • Move a Bill to second reading (with the phrase "Mr Speaker, I move that this Bill be read a second time on an Opposition day.")

Discretion of the Chair: In the event that the Government is failing to pursue a robust Parliamentary agenda, the Speaker may move forward motions and legislation that have been introduced at their discretion. This will only occur if, in the opinion of the Speaker (read: the A-Team), the Government is not adequately moving items through the House of Commons and it is negatively impacting Parliament (read: the game), or it has significant cross-party debate.

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