House of CommonsShort guide to procedure and practice


The closure is the question 'That the question be now put'; i.e. that, although there are still Members speaking or wishing to speak, the debate should be ended and the House proceed immediately to a decision. Any Member can move the closure by standing and saying 'I beg to move that the Question be now put' (if necessary interrupting the Member speaking). The Speaker has discretion whether to accept the closure, and may decide that the matter under debate has not been sufficiently debated. If the Speaker allows it, the question on the closure itself is put immediately, without debate. If opposed, it requires not just a majority but also at least 100 Members voting in favour; otherwise the original debate is resumed. If the closure is agreed to, the question is then put immediately on the matter previously under debate.

There is a similar procedure for moving that the question be now proposed, when the mover has not finished his or her speech.

The closure can also be moved in standing committee.


© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 14 February 2001