Thursday, 7 December: Hunting Bill has its first reading – formal introduction to the House of Commons, no debate.
Friday, 8 December: Bill is published at 11.15am.
Tuesday, 12 December: House of Commons debate of the Queen’s Speech to consider Home Affairs, including debate on Hunting Bill.
Wednesday, 13 December: House of Lords debate of Queen’s Speech, as above.
Wednesday, 20 December: House of Commons Second Reading debate on the principle of the Hunting Bill. This should be followed by a vote on the principle of advancing the bill.
January 2001: Each hunting option to be considered by a committee of the whole House of Commons. The options will be considered in the following order: the alliance’s internal regulation/independent supervision option, the Middle Way option, the ban option.
Early 2001: The selected option will proceed to a standing committee of 20 MPs who will consider the option in detail. Amendments may be made at this stage.
After the committee stage, the bill returns to the House of Commons for the report stage, at which all MPs will have the opportunity to make amendments.
The Third Reading is the final debate and vote on the bill before it is sent on to the House of Lords.
Once in the House of Lords, the two “rejected” options will be available to the Lords to enable them to select their favoured option. This could be as early as March 2001.
The earliest date for a general election is likely to be the end of April or beginning of May and the Bill is likely to be delayed in the Lords until after the election.
If the government overrules the House of Lords using the Parliament Act, the option of a ban could be implemented by 2003.