House of Lords Reform Bill

AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
IN COMMITTEE

Before Clause 18

THE EARL OF CAITHNESS

 

Insert the following new Clause—

“Referendum

(1) Her Majesty must by Order in Council, on the advice of the Prime Minister, cause a referendum to be held throughout the United Kingdom about whether the House of Lords should be reformed in accordance with the provisions of this Bill before any part or whole of the Bill comes into effect.

(2) For further provision about a referendum held by virtue of subsection (1), Schedule (Referendums under this Act) applies.

(3) An Order in Council under this section may not be made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the Order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

Schedule 1

THE EARL OF CAITHNESS

 

Insert the following new Schedule—

“SCHEDULE Referendums under this Act Entitlement to vote

1 (1) The persons entitled to vote in a referendum held by virtue of any provision of this Act are those who would be entitled to vote in a general election of Westminster Parliament members if one were held on the date of the poll at the referendum.

(2) But an Order in Council under this Act may include provision for disregarding alterations made in a register of electors after a specified date.

Conduct etc of referendum

2 (1) An Order in Council under this Act may make provision for and in connection with the referendum which it causes to be held.

(2) Such an Order in Council may, in particular, apply or incorporate, with or without modification, any enactment relating to referendums, elections or donations.

(3) In sub-paragraph (2) “donations” means anything which is or corresponds to a donation within the meaning of Part 4 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

Referendum question and statement

3 (1) An Order in Council under this Act—

(a) must specify the question to be included on the ballot paper at the referendum which it causes to be held, and

(b) may specify a statement to precede the question on that ballot paper.

Date of referendum

4 (1) An Order in Council under this Act must specify the date of the poll at the referendum which it causes to be held.

(2) The Prime Minister may by order vary the date of the poll specified in such an Order in Council (including a date previously set by virtue of this sub-paragraph) if it appears inappropriate for it to be held on that date.

(3) A statutory instrument containing an order under sub-paragraph (2) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Referendum period

5 An Order in Council under this Act must determine the referendum period for the purposes of Part 7 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 in the case of the referendum which it causes to be held.

Combination of polls

6 An Order in Council under this Act may make provision for and in connection with the combination of the poll at the referendum which it causes to be held with that at an election or at another referendum (or both).

Encouraging voting

7 An Order in Council under this Act may authorise or require the Electoral Commission to do things for the purpose of encouraging voting in the referendum which it causes to be held (including imposing obligations or conferring powers on counting officers or other persons).

Provision of information to voters

8 (1) This paragraph applies in relation to a referendum held by virtue of this Act if the Electoral Commission have not, before the appropriate day, designated an organisation under section 108 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (organisations to whom assistance is available under section 110 of that Act) in relation to each possible outcome of the referendum.

(2) The Electoral Commission may take such steps as they think appropriate to provide such information for persons entitled to vote in the referendum as the Commission think is likely to promote awareness among those persons about the arguments for each answer to the referendum question.

(3) Information provided in pursuance of sub-paragraph (2) must be provided by whatever means the Electoral Commission think is most likely to secure (in the most cost-effective way) that the information comes to the notice of everyone entitled to vote in the referendum.

(4) In this paragraph “the appropriate day” means—

(a) if an order is made under section 109(6) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (variation of period for applications for designation under section 108 or period for determination of applications or both) in the case of the referendum, such day as that order specifies as the appropriate day,

(b) if no such order is made and one or more applications are made in relation to each possible outcome of the referendum before the 29th day of the referendum period, the 43rd day of the referendum period, and

(c) in any other case in which no such order is made, the 29th day of the referendum period.

Referendum material

9 Section 126 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (details to appear on referendum material) does not apply to any material published for the purposes of a referendum held by virtue of this Act if the publication is required under or by virtue of the Order in Council that causes the referendum to be held.

Funding and accounts

10 An Order in Council under this Act must include provision for the funding of costs of the referendum which it causes to be held (and may, in particular, include provision for the costs to be charged on, or payable out of, the Consolidated Fund).

11 An Order in Council under this Act must include provision as to the preparation and audit of accounts relating to payments made by virtue of provision included in the Order in Council under paragraph 10.

No legal challenge to referendum result

12 (1) No court may entertain any proceedings for questioning the number of ballot papers counted or votes cast in a referendum held by virtue of this Act as certified by the Chief Counting Officer or a counting officer unless—

(a) the proceedings are brought by a claim for judicial review, and

(b) the claim form is filed before the end of the permitted period.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1) “the permitted period” means the period of six weeks beginning with—

(a) the date on which the Chief Counting Officer or counting officer gives a certificate as to the number of ballot papers counted and votes cast in the referendum, or

(b) if the Chief Counting Officer or counting officer gives more than one such certificate, the date on which the last is given.

Supplementary

13 An Order in Council under this Act may include provision creating criminal offences.

Interpretation

14 Expressions used in this Schedule and in Part 7 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 have the same meaning in this Schedule as in that Part.”

Prepared 16th September 2011