E-petitions: Relating to the UK’s departure from the EU

On Monday 5 October, MPs will debate petitions relating to the UK’s departure from the EU. This debate will start at 6pm and will be opened by Mike Hill MP, a member of the Petitions Committee.   Read the petitions to be debated: Halt Brexit For A Public Inquiry: https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/241848 To establish a Public Inquiry into the conduct of the 2016 EU Referendum: https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/250178 Extend the transition; delay negotiations until after the coronavirus outbreak: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300412   Why are these petitions being debated?   The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall.   In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament, and the breadth of interest among MPs.   In some cases, the Petitions Committee will group a small number of petitions together when scheduling a debate, where these petitions relate to the same central issue or event.   What will the petitions debate achieve?   Debates on petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the petition(s).   MPs can discuss the petition(s) and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government’s position on the issue or press the Government to take action.   A Government Minister takes part in the debate and responds to the points raised.   These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and can influence decision-making in Government and Parliament.   Petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.   Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.   This process is normally started by the Government, although there are some ways in which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as “backbenchers”) can ask Parliament to consider new laws.