Voting on the Alcohol Reform Bill
On Thursday 30 August members will debate the issue of the age for the sale and purchase of alcohol from licensed premises. This will be followed by an unusual form of vote, where members will choose between three different options.
Usually when votes are taken in the House, a question is proposed and members vote either for or against the proposition (or may register an abstention). On Thursday, members will be able to vote for one of three options:
the age for sale and supply of liquor both on and off licensed premises remaining at 18 years
the age changing to 20 years
the age remaining at 18 years for on-licensed premises, but moving to 20 years for off-licenses.
The Speaker has agreed that this vote may be treated as a conscience issue, so that members may record personal votes. Most votes taken in the House are party votes where party whips cast votes on behalf of their members.
The process to be followed on Thursday will be for each member to enter one of the lobbies and cast a vote for one of the three options. If this does not produce a majority decision, the option receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated. A second personal vote will then be held to decide between the two remaining options.
This debate and vote will be the first part of the detailed consideration of the bill by the committee of the whole House. The committee of the whole House is a stage in the consideration of a bill where members have the opportunity to debate the provisions of a bill in detail, and propose amendments to it. There will be further time spent in committee in the future debating the remaining provisions of the bill. You can read more about the legislative process on this website (see related documents).
You can view the bill, the Justice and Electoral Committee’s report on it, members’ proposed amendments (SOPs) and other related material on this site (see related documents).
The record of members’ votes will be published in the Journals of the House, also available on this site via related documents.