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The Constitutional Convention Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Purvis of Tweed. The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 1 June 2015 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 17 July 2015.

The Bill seeks to “make provision for a convention to consider the constitution of the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes”. The Bill, if enacted, would compel the responsible Secretary of State to make regulations that “appoint a day on which the convention must commence its operations” (this being no later than 31 December 2016), “make fair and transparent rules about how the convention is to operate” and “specify how those who are to be part of the convention are to be chosen”. The Bill states that the convention must be composed of representatives of registered UK political parties, local authorities and the nations and regions of the UK. At least 50 percent of these participants “must not be employed in a role which can reasonably be considered to be political”. The convention would be tasked with considering the following terms of reference:

• the devolution of legislative and fiscal competence to and within Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland;
• the devolution of legislative and fiscal competence to local authorities within the United Kingdom;
• the reform of the electoral system;
• the reform of the House of Lords;
• constitutional matters to be considered in further conventions;
• procedures to govern the consideration and implementation of any future constitutional reforms.

The Bill states that the convention must publish recommendations within one year of its appointment and that the Government must respond within six months of the publication of the convention’s recommendations. The Bill, if enacted, would extend to the whole of the United Kingdom and would come into force on the day on which it was passed.


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