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Lost Parliamentary Bills

At the time of producing this newsletter, the House of Commons has agreed that a general election should be held on Thursday, 12 December. Members of the House of Lords now have their say before a formal Act of Parliament gives effect to this agreement. If passed, Parliament will be dissolved ahead of the general election (6 November presently looks the day of dissolution being calculated as 25 working days ahead of the election). Dissolution brings Parliament to a close and it is ‘prorogued’. This brings to an end practically all existing Parliamentary business.

Fine, but what happens to the Bills and consultation presently in progress? These will be ‘lost’ and the new Government will, via the Queen’s Speech, outline a new programme of legislation.

So what, being of interest to the property sector, will be lost? A considerable number of Parliamentary Bills and consultations for instance, in connection with energy performance, the Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill and the Emissions Reduction (Local Authorities in London) Bill will disappear. The Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, which would give rise to a statutory right to clean air and the establishment of a Citizens’ Commission for Clean Air, the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill which would, hopefully, clarify certain aspects of the Communications Act, 2003, and the Well-being of Future Generations Bill which would require public bodies to act in pursuit of, inter alia, the environmental well-being of the United Kingdom: these and some approximately 46 other Bills will all be lost. They may have become Acts if they have the backing of the present Government (although the present Government does not have a majority in the House of Commons) but if a private member’s Bill, it it unlikely to be successful or it might be re-introduced under a new Parliament. But, we will simply have to wait to see.

Finally, there is a chance that any one of the Bills presently before Parliament will be passed before 6 November (although members of both Houses seem too fixed upon Brexit to consider anything else) during the intervening period known as ‘wash up’ – see our newsletter of April 2017 written just before the last general election.

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