Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can find research briefings by sorting by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Library Research Papers: in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other major topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Commons Library Standard Notes: 3,000 briefings on topical issues or frequently asked questions.
    • Lords Library Notes: Written by the research section of the House of Lords Library to provide information on topics of current interest to members
    • POSTnotes: Short briefings produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology analysing policy issues that have a basis in science and technology.
    • POST Reports: Occasional major reports produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Displaying 1-20 out of 5584

  • Membership of UK political parties Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05125 The UK’s political party system is at a time of considerable change. Membership of the three main political parties is at a historic low: less than 1% of the UK electorate is now a member of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Party. Yet membership of smaller parties has risen markedly. This note analyses the size and social characteristics of political party memberships. Topic: Political parties
  • Flood insurance Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06613 This note outlines issues relating to flood insurance within the UK and the establishment of the Flood Re scheme by the Water Act and subsequent Regulations. Topic: Environmental protection, Financial services, Flooding, Water
  • Service industries Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02786 Service industries: Data incorporating the retail sector, the financial sector, the public sector, business administration and cultural activities . Topic: Economic situation, Service industries
  • Components of GDP Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02787 Components of GDP: Data on the components that make up GDP, including household consumption, government spending, investment, net trade and output by sector. Topic: Economic situation
  • Business and Consumer Confidence Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02817 Business and Consumer Confidence: Information on business and consumer confidence surveys, which is generally released ahead of official statistical data and can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle. Topic: Consumers, Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Deprivation of British citizenship and withdrawal of passport facilities Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06820 In recent years there has been an increasing use of powers to deprive people of their British citizenship and withdraw British passport facilities, particularly in respect of those who may be involved in fighting, extremist activity or terrorist training overseas. Topic: Nationality, Terrorism
  • Housing Market Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02820 Housing Market: Data on house prices from the Nationwide and Halifax, mortgage approvals and house-building. Topic: Economic situation, Housing
  • Communications Data: The 2012 draft Bill and recent developments Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06373 The draft Communications Data Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech in 2012 and it was published on 14 June 2012. The Bill was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny and some aspects of the Government’s proposals were criticised. The Bill was frequently referred to by critics as a “snooper’s charter” and it was not taken forward in the 2012-13 session. In 2015, following the attacks at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, there was renewed interest in the earlier draft legislation. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary indicated that, if elected, a future Conservative government would introduce new powers for the security services. Topic: Human rights, Intelligence services, Privacy
  • Sea Fisheries statistics Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02788 This note examines trends in the UK sea fishing industry, including landings, employment, fleet size, trade, and comparisons with EU countries. UK vessels land around 620,000 tonnes of fish each year, of which 400,000 tonnes is landed in the UK. Total landings are down 29% since 1994. Reduced landings in demersal fish account for much of this fall. The value of landings by the UK fleet has fallen by 19% in real terms over this period. Topic: Agriculture, Fisheries, Sustainable development
  • Household Debt Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN02885 Household debt: Data on the latest household debt statistics, including net lending, mortgage interest rates and insolvencies. Topic: Economic situation, Financial services
  • Living Former MPs Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05324 A list of all known living former Members as at 30/01/2015 Topic: Members of Parliament
  • NHS Winter Pressures 2014/15 Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07057 During the winter months, NHS England publishes daily situation reports on winter pressures facing acute hospital trusts. These cover pressures such as accident and emergency diverts, ambulances queueing, bed days lost to norovirus closures, delayed transfers of care, cancelled operations, and trolley waits. This note summarises figures for 2014/15 (up to 25th January) and compares them with the equivalent periods in 2013/14 and 2012/13. Data for individual hospital trusts or areas is available on the NHS statistical website and can be compiled or analysed by the Library on request. Topic: Ambulance services, Health services
  • Financial Indicators Published 30 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation
  • A Brief History of the Magna Carta Published 29 January 2015 | Library notes LLN 2015/001 This Note will consider the background to the introduction of the Magna Carta and consider the influence the Magna Carta has had in the 800 years since its creation. Topic: Constitution, Parliament
  • EU obligations: UK implementing legislation since 1993 Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07092 Amended 30 January 2015 How much UK law implements EU obligations? This is virtually impossible to answer accurately, but approximate calculations can be made using law databases. Topic: EU institutions, EU law and treaties
  • The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary scrutiny Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06975 The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed – Class 2 and Class 4 – to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding ‘accelerated payments’ and ‘high-risk’ tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by ‘intermediaires’. Topic: National insurance, Taxation
  • Grammar Schools Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07070 This note provides an outline of the current position relating to grammar schools. It covers England only. Topic: Schools
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary stages Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN07073 This Bill is awaiting report and third reading in the Lords on 4, 6 and 9 February 2015. This Note examines parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill so far. There have been some Government amendments on judicial oversight of removal of passports and Temporary Exclusion Orders. Topic: Terrorism
  • Mitochondrial Donation Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN06833 This note seeks to provide a summary of the role of mitochondria, mitochondrial disease and the proposed new techniques. It will also outline the investigations into these techniques that took place prior to the Government announcement; a HFEA scientific review of the safety and efficacy of methods, an ethical review of the techniques for mitochondrial replacement undertaken by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and an HFEA public consultation. The main safety and ethical considerations associated with the introduction of these techniques into clinical practice will be discussed. Topic: Diseases, Genetics, Medical ethics, Medicine, Science
  • India-Pakistan relations: January 2015 update Published 29 January 2015 | Standard notes SN05773 India-Pakistan relations remain fraught with danger and mistrust. Since October 2014, there have been regular exchanges of fire between their troops across the ‘Line of Control’ which runs through contested Kashmir. Turbulent times could lie ahead.The two nuclear-armed governments accuse each other of responsibility for these skirmishes. The tenor of their exchanges has become increasingly hostile. There are also Indian claims that militant groups based on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control are seeking to infiltrate Indian-administered Kashmir in larger numbers. Over recent months, there have been several battles between militants and security forces. Hopes that India and Pakistan could resume talks in earnest following the electoral victory of Narendra Modi in India last year have not yet been realised. He is currently acting like a man for whom a deal with Pakistan is desirable but not essential. His self-confidence may soon receive another boost. Political developments within Indian Jammu and Kashmir could produce a coalition government involving his party, the BJP – an outcome which few observers would have predicted until very recently. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is keen to do a deal with India on Kashmir and other issues but cannot afford to look weak. He will be hoping that the PDP decides against joining up with the BJP in Indian Jammu and Kashmir. The more moderate Kashmiri separatist leaders will share the dismay of the Pakistan government if it does. However, the armed militant groups – whose influence and reach have waned in recent years – are likely to be delighted if the BJP shares power, as increased political polarisation could act as a recruiting-sergeant for them. Pakistan’s anxieties about the increasingly close US-India relationship have heightened recently. President Obama recently finished a three-day visit to India in which numerous deals were signed. Topic: Asia, Human rights, International politics and government, Terrorism

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