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 2781

  • Wilson Doctrine Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN04258 The convention that MPs’ communications should not be intercepted by police or security services is known as the ‘Wilson Doctrine’. It is named after the former Prime Minister Harold Wilson who established the rule in 1966. Concerns over possible breaches of the Wilson doctrine have been voiced on a number of occasions in recent years: following Sadiq Khan’s meetings with a constituent at Woodhill Prison in 2005/6, Damian Green’s arrest and the subsequent search of his offices in November 2008, following revelations of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in 2013, and after it was revealed in 2014 that conversations between MPs and prisoners were recorded from 2006-12. Topic: Privacy
  • Gross Domestic Product Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02783 UK Gross Domestic Product: Regularly updated data on growth and forecasts. Topic: Economic situation
  • Manufacturing Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN05206 Manufacturing: Data on maufacturing jobs, output and producer confidence. Topic: Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Local government devolution: policy proposals Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07065 This note summarises proposals for devolution of powers to local authorities made in a number of reports during 2013 and 2014. Topic: Devolution, Local government
  • Consumer Rights Bill - Lords amendments Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07064 This paper is designed to provide background information for Consideration of Lords Amendments of the Consumer Rights Bill, as brought from the House of Lords on 9 December 2014. This note, like the Lords Amendments themselves, refers to HL Bill 29, the Bill as first printed for the House of Lords. This note also refers to Explanatory Notes on Lords Amendments produced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Topic: Consumers
  • Devolution to local government in England Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07029 2014 has witnessed a large number of proposals for the transfer of additional powers to local authorities from central government. The political parties have begun to develop policy in this area in advance of the 2015 General Election. Also, the Government has announced the devolution of a range of new powers to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. This note discusses these issues. Topic: Devolution, Local government
  • Overview and Scrutiny in Local Government Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06520 This note provides an introduction to overview and scrutiny committees in local authorities, their development and the relevant legislative provisions. It also notes specific powers available to local councils to scrutinise other bodies. The note principally covers England, with some reference to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Topic: Local government
  • Local government: the standards regime in England Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN05707 This note outlines the provisions for standards of conduct, and registration of pecuniary interests, for local government councillors in England. A new local-based regime was introduced by the Localism Act 2011. The note also provides relevant links to details of standards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Topic: Local government, Standards
  • Financial Indicators Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN05207 Financial Indicators: Data from FTSE100, as well as oil prices and gold prices. Topic: Economic situation
  • Business and Consumer Confidence Published 19 December 2014 | 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
  • Public Finances Published 19 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02812 Over the period April – November 2014, public sector borrowing was 0.6% lower than during the same period of 2013. Topic: Economic situation, Public expenditure
  • NHS Winter Pressures 2014/15 Published 19 December 2014 | 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 to date and compares them with the equivalent period in 2013/14 and 2012/13, for England as a whole. 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
  • Septic tanks: new regulations Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06059 This note explains the legislation relating to septic tanks in England. Topic: Agriculture and environment, Biodiversity, Countryside, Environmental protection, Waste management, Water, Wildlife
  • Average Earnings: Economic Indicators page Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02795 Average Earnings: Regularly updated data on average weekly earnings, including breakdowns by public and private sectors and manufacturing and service sectors. Topic: Economic situation, Pay
  • In Brief: Progress against ISIS December 2014 Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07063 A brief summary of the progress of the military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Topic: Middle East, Military operations, Terrorism
  • Bahrain and the UK 2014 Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07062 The UK’s political and security relationship with Bahrain is disputed even though the protests that began in 2011 are subsiding. This briefing summarises the controversies Topic: Human rights, Middle East
  • Unemployment: Regional Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02798 Unemployment: Regional: Regional data on International Labour Organisation unemployment, the headline measure of unemployment. Topic: Unemployment
  • Unemployment - National: key economic indicators Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02797 Unemployment - National: Data on International Labour Organisation unemployment, the headline measure of unemployment in the UK. Topic: Unemployment
  • Employment: key economic indicators Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02796 Employment: data on employment in the UK. Topic: Economic situation, Employment
  • The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Published 18 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06688 A briefing on the background, negotiation process and sticking points of the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Topic: Economic policy, EU external relations, Europe, International economic relations, International trade, World economy

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