How does a Bill become an Act of Parliament?

Most Bills start in the House of Commons. Once a Bill has been introduced, it has to pass through the parliamentary process to become law. This involves a first and second reading in the House of Commons, followed by the committee stage, at which each clause and schedule of the Bill is examined, and the report stage. The final House of Commons stage is the third reading, when the House takes an overview of the Bill as amended in the committee and report stages.

The Bill then moves to the House of Lords, where the process is similar to that in the House of Commons, with the Bill going through a series of readings and a committee stage. The House of Lords often suggests amendments to the Bill. If the House of Commons accepts these, the Bill is passed. If the House of Lords rejects a Bill or makes amendments that are not accepted by the House of Commons, the Bill travels between the House of Commons and the House of Lords until they reach an agreement.

When the Bill has gone through the parliamentary process it is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent. It then becomes an Act of Parliament.