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How are laws made in the UK?

How does an idea become a law? Follow the process in this short video.

Key information

  • An idea for a new law is called a Bill. It can be introduced by a government minister, an MP or a member of the House of Lords.
  • A Bill must be discussed and agreed upon by both houses - the House of Lords and the House of Commons. There are many different stages in this part of the process and it can take quite a long time. Often changes are made to the language and content of the Bill and this is called an Amendment.
  • If both houses finally come to an agreement, the Bill is then passed to the Monarch, who gives formal approval. This is called Royal Assent.
  • Once a Bill is given Royal Assent, it becomes a law, also called an Act of Parliament.

Easy read booklet

Here is a link to an easy-read booklet about how laws are made in the UK.

Have Your Say!

New laws or amendments to existing laws can affect the daily lives of the general public. Examples of current issues regulated by laws are:

  • Speed limits on roads and motorways
  • The national minimum wage
  • The sale of animal fur
  • Online safety
  • The use of drones
  • The opening times of shops and supermarkets

Choose one or more of the above issues and try to explain a) why you think it is important and b) what kind of changes you would make if you had the power to do so.

Contains parliamentary information licensed under the Open Parliament Licence v3.0.

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UK Politics

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