Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 13:11 UK
Reasoned amendment

The second reading stage of a bill provides MPs with their first opportunity to debate the broad principles that it contains.

But it also gives them an opportunity to reject the bill in its entirety, by tabling a motion described as a "reasoned amendment".

At the end of the second reading debate, the House of Commons can vote on the motion, which is so-called because it should contain reasons for opposing the legislation.

If the vote is carried, the bill will not be allowed to continue its passage through Parliament.

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