Research briefings

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

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 86

Petrol and diesel prices
Published Friday, November 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN04712
This note looks at trends in the price of petrol and diesel at the pump and before tax, possible reasons for the gap in prices between the two fuels and compares prices and taxes in different countries.
Green Belt
Published Friday, November 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00934
This briefing from the House of Commons library examines some of the controversy about the Green Belt in England and how policy towards the Green Belt might change.
Decarbonising the Gas Network
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0565
The burning of natural gas for heating contributes 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Decarbonising, or reducing the carbon content of the UK gas supply is one option for reducing the emissions from heating. This POSTnote looks at the contribution that two alternative gases, hydrogen and biomethane, could make in achieving this goal.
Environmental Earth Observation
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0566
Earth observation (EO) is the process of gathering information about the Earth from a range of sensors to provide monitoring data at a range of scales. This POSTnote outlines some of the environmental uses and benefits of EO data, the potential opportunities from advances in relevant technologies and challenges facing the effective use of EO data.
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8036
A Commons Library briefing paper on EURATOM, the European Atomic Energy Community.
UK's role in degradation of the marine environment
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0225
MPs will debate the UK's role in degradation of the marine environment from 2.30 to 4pm on Tuesday 14 November 2017. The debate will take place in Westminster Hall and be led by Barry Sheerman MP.
Brexit and the environment
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8132
A House of Commons Library Briefing paper discussing current environmental law and policy in the UK and in the devolved nations; preparations for Brexit and potential impacts of Brexit; and the possibility of a tailored UK approach to the environment in the future. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is also discussed in the context of environmental matters, and REACH information is provided as an illustrative case study.
The UK bee population
Published Friday, November 10, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0226
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 14 November 2017 from 4.30-5.30pm on the UK bee population. The debate will be opened by Alex Chalk MP.
Vehicle scrappage schemes
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8091
This paper gives a brief overview of the debates about vehicle scrappage schemes in recent years – from the 2009 scrappage scheme introduced by the Labour Government to calls from 2015 onwards for a new diesel scrappage scheme to help improve air quality.
Mineworkers' pensions
Published Monday, November 6, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN01189
Covers the arrangements made for mineworkers' pensions following privatisation of British Coal in 1994.

Topics: Coal, Pensions

Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017-19
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8107
The Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017-19 was presented to Parliament on 11 October 2017 and makes provision for nuclear safeguards after the UK leaves Euratom. This Briefing Paper discusses the background to and content of the Bill. The Nuclear Safeguards Bill passed Second Reading on 16 October 2017.
Commons Library Analysis of Smart Meters Bill 2017-19
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8120
This Commons Library briefing contains background information on smart meters and the roll out, discussion on the clauses of the Smart Meters Bill 2017-19, and comment on the Bill. The Bill passed its Second Reading on 24 October 2017.
Agriculture, Fisheries and the Rural Economy
Published Monday, October 30, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0076
This House of Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on the new opportunities and challenges for agriculture, fisheries and the rural economy in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2017.
Impact of Air and Water Pollution on the Environment and Public Health
Published Monday, October 23, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0073
This Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the debate scheduled to take place in the House of Lords on 26 October 2017 on the impact of air and water pollution on the environment and public health.
Energy Smart Meters
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8119
Between now and 2020 more than 50 million new energy ‘smart meters’ are being rolled out to 30 million homes and smaller non-domestic sites in Great Britain.
Carbon Capture and Storage
Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0188
A Westminster Hall debate on the "Carbon Capture and Storage" is scheduled for Thursday 19 October 2017 at 1.30pm. The Member leading the debate is Simon Clarke MP.
Bovine Tuberculosis Statistics: Great Britain
Published Monday, October 16, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06081
In 2016 there were 4,505 new herd incidents of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Great Britain, and 39,364 animals were slaughtered due to bovine TB. This briefing paper presents statistics on the incidence of bovine TB in Great Britain.
Badgers: Culls in England
Published Thursday, October 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06837
The UK Government is committed to eradicating bovine TB and takes the view that badger culling in areas with high incidence of TB in cattle in England is an effective part of this strategy. Controlled shooting of badgers was trialed in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, a badger cull continued in these two areas and was extended to a third area in Dorset. In 2016 the cull was extended to seven new areas, and 11 more added in 2017.
Energy bills and proposals for reform
Published Thursday, October 5, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8081
During her speech to the Conservative party conference on 4 October 2017, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the Government would publish a Draft Bill to put a price cap on energy bills. There has been a mixed response to this announcement. Energy UK, the industry trade body, said the cap could interfere with competition and instead advocated energy efficiency measures. Whereas, Citizens advice welcomed the plans as a potential “solution to runaway energy costs.”

Displaying 1-20 out of 86

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The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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