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Rules: Motions


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Motions are a way for Parliament to express a view on a matter (and sometimes debate) in a way that is normally not binding on the Government (there are some exceptions, usually by convention, covered below).

Any player can submit a motion for debate. It must have the form “That this House…” 

A motion automatically opens for debate until the end of the weekly round; or if there are less than 72 hours left of the weekly round, until the end of the next one. 

A motion will only be voted on if it is moved for a vote by either:

  • The Prime Minister or Leader of the House
  • The Opposition, on their nominated opposition day,
  • The Speaker (the A Team) determines that it has sufficient support in the House to warrant debate (this would be very rare)

Motions may be amended. Any MP may move an amendment to a motion, and it is down to whoever moved it as to whether they accept the amendment or not. 

Special motions

There are a number of motions that are technically considered "special" based on the procedures that they entail. These proceed straight to debate - talk to the A-Team if you plan on tabling one of these.

Queen's Speech/Address in Reply: The Queen's Speech occurs during the State Opening of Parliament and presents the Government's agenda for the Parliamentary term. It is generally structured as a list containing the phrases "My government will...", "My ministers will...", and so on and so forth while listing a series of policy items. The A-Team will set a deadline for the Speech, which must be sent by the Prime Minister to the A-Team by that time. Once the A-Team has the speech, it will be posted and the debate on the Address in Reply will open. There are some specific rules for the Address in Reply:

  • The first speech will be given by the Leader of the Opposition, who will have 24 hours after the speech is posted by the A-Team to post their speech.
  • The second speech will be given by the Prime Minister, who will have 24 hours after the Leader of the Opposition posts their speech to post their reply.
  • Debate will then open for contributions from all MPs - in particular, responses are expected by the leaders of the minor parties. This segment of debate will last for 72 hours and be followed by an immediate vote.

If the Leader of the Opposition or Prime Minister is unavailable for some reason, they may designate an alternative frontbench member to give their speech. Missing their designated response time will be very bad for their party.

Motion of No Confidence: A motion of no confidence is only tabled by the Leader of the Opposition. If the Leader of the Opposition is supportive, then by convention a debate and vote on such a motion is held on the next available sitting day. The form of the motion is “that this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.” The Leader of the Opposition begins the debate, followed by the Prime Minister, and then general debate opens for 72 hours before a vote is taken. 

If a motion of No Confidence is successful, then the Government is expected to resign - typically, this means calling a General Election, but if Parliament is early in its term then there is no reason that an alternative Government could not form if that Government can demonstrate that it has the confidence of  the House.

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