The Parliamentary Battle
In formal terms Parliament lies at the centre of law-making. From the publication of a Bill to its final enactment on receiving the Royal Assent, the familiar stages in both Houses — presentation, Second Reading, Committee, Report and Third Reading — provide a framework for argument and debate. MPs probably spend more time than any other group in public discussion of legislation, and the parliamentary debates constitute a large proportion of the total public argument. This was especially so in the case of the Industrial Relations Bill. Apart from Finance Bills it was the longest piece of legislation to concern Parliament in the post-war years. As its Committee stage was taken on the floor of the Commons, it also occupied more parliamentary time than any piece of non-financial legislation since 1945.1
KeywordsIndustrial Relation Official Trade Unionism Class Interpretation Parliamentary Debate Agency Shop
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