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Early Day Motions

Published Thursday, July 17, 2014

Early Day Motions exist to allow Members to draw attention to a topic or to express an opinion on any issue. The note reviews criticisms of EDMs; actions takens by the House to reduce their costs; and the Procedure's Committee's continuing support for EDMs.

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Early Day Motion (EDM) is a term used for a motion submitted for a debate for which no date has been fixed. Very few EDMs actually get debated. Instead, EDMs exist to allow Members to draw attention to a topic or to express an opinion.

There have been criticisms of the costs associated with printing and distributing EDMs; and that the number of trivial EDMs detracts from those that are significant. The House has reduced the number of occasions on which EDMs are reprinted.

In 2013, the Procedure Committee considered whether there was a case to reform or abolish EDMs. It concluded that there should be no changes.

Commons Briefing papers SN06941

Author: Richard Kelly

Topic: Parliamentary procedure

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