Constitutional Convention Bill

Tomorrow (Monday 1 June) Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Jeremy Purvis will present his Constitutional Convention Bill in the House of Lords. The text of the Bill is as follows:



Make provision for a convention to consider the constitution of the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: –

1              Convention

(1)    A convention is to be held to consider and make recommendations on the constitution of the United Kingdom.

(2)    The Secretary of State must make regulations to—

(a)    appoint a day on which the convention must commence its operations,

(b)   make fair and transparent rules about how the convention is to operate and how evidence is to be adduced,

(c)    make further provision about the terms of reference prescribed under section 2, and

(d)   specify how those who are to be part of the convention are to be chosen in accordance with section 4.

(3)    The date appointed under subsection (2)(a) must not be later than 31 December 2016.

2              Terms of reference

The convention must the consider the following terms of reference—

(a)           the devolution of legislative and fiscal competence to and within Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland,

(b)          the devolution of legislative and fiscal competence to local authorities within the United Kingdom,

(c)           the reform of the electoral system,

(d)          the reform of the House of Lords,

(e)          constitutional matters to be considered in further conventions, and

(f)            procedures to govern the consideration and implementation of any future constitutional reforms.

3              Recommendations

(1)    The convention must publish recommendations within the period of 1 year beginning with the day appointed under section 1(2)(a).

(2)    The Secretary of State must lay responses to each of the recommendations before each House of Parliament within 6 months beginning with day on which the recommendations are published.

4              Composition

(1)    The convention must be composed of representatives of the following—

(a)  registered political parties within the United Kingdom,

(b)  local authorities,

(c)   the nations and regions of the United Kingdom.

(2)    At least 50% of the members of the convention must not be employed in a role which can reasonably be considered to be political.

5              Regulations

Regulations under this Act are to be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

6              Financial provision

                There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament­—

(a)    any expenditure incurred under or by virtue of this Act by a Minister of the Crown, and

(b)   any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act out of money so provided.

7              Extent, commencement and short title

(1)    This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2)    This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3)    This Act may be cited as the Constitutional Convention Act 2015.

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