The British Government is expected to lay its new House of Lords Reform Bill in Parliament today, to elect 80% of the Upper House.
It seems most people aren’t giving it much hope. The Bill was slammed in a joint Committee earlier in the year, and a lot of the strongest criticisms were for things that are inherent in having two elected chambers.
The Lib Dem and Tory backbenchers despise one another and it’s expected that a large number of Tories will oppose the Bill - and now they’re joined by Labour, who say that they will oppose the Programme Motion (which limits the time for debate).
If the Government loses the Programme Motion they will have essentially lost control of the Bill and it could remain on the floor of the House for months - potentially eating up precious time for getting other (more important) legislation through.
So the Government will have to choose between ditching the Bill in order to maintain its legislative programme, or abandon parts of its programme to stare down opponents of the Bill.
It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks!