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Since programming was made permanent from the beginning of the 2004-05 Session, minor changes were made to the relevant Standing Orders following the House’s agreement to introduce public bill committees and following changes to sitting hours.

In December 2013, the Procedure Committee reviewed and proposed minor changes to the way in which programming operates, after the Wright Committee expressed concerns that sometimes significant amendments were passed without debate at report stage. The Committee recommended changes to ensure that there was opportunity to debate all groups of amendments. It also proposed other changes to allow amendments to programme motions moved immediately after second reading and to allow the Speaker to select non-Ministerial motions relating to Lords amendments for separate decision.

In April 2014, following receipt of a Government response indicating agreement in principle with a proposal to ensure amendments were tabled earlier, but rejecting its other proposals, it recommended that “a trial take place for the course of the 2014–15 Session of a three-day deadline for the tabling of amendments and new clauses/schedules at report stage of all programmed bills”.

On 8 May 2014, the House agreed motion to give effect to the Procedure Committee’s proposed trial of a three-day deadline for tabling amendments in the 2014-15 Session.

The Procedure Committee has also considered the programming of private Members’ bills. In September 2013, it recommended that the House should be given the opportunity to decide whether it should be possible to programme private Members’ bills. However, following the receipt of the Government’s response, it decided not to proceed with these proposals.

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