What is a Bill?
An Act of Parliament starts off as a Bill. A Bill is a proposal for a new piece of legislation that – if approved by a majority in the House of Commons and the House of Lords – will become an Act of Parliament and law of the land.
There three kinds of Bill.
What is a Public Bill?
This is the most common type of Bill. Public Bills deal with matters affecting the public generally and are usually introduced by a Government minister. Public Bills apply throughout England and Wales. Most Bills are public and are introduced and supported by the Government.
What is a Private Members' Bill?
A Private Members' Bill deals with matters affecting the public generally but is introduced by a Member of Parliament who is not a minister. Private Members' Bills are a type of Public Bill and should not be confused with Private Bills.
What is a Private Bill?
A Private Bill deals with issues which affect only a very small number of people. For example, a Private Bill could deal with a matter affecting a single local authority. Private Bills are promoted by the group concerned. A Private Bill does not affect the general public as a whole. A Private Bill might be introduced, for example, to give National Rail (the company which maintains Britain's network of train lines) the power to construct a new railway line in a particular area of the country.