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 24

UK assistance to affected British Overseas Territories after Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Published Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8109
Members and their staff are receiving a significant number of representations regarding the UK government’s post-Hurricane assistance to affected British Overseas Territories. Worst affected in September were the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla. This note provides a brief overview of what we know currently about the UK’s assistance effort to date.
Disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory: July 2017 update
Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06908
This briefing describes the main developments since mid-2013 in long-running disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). In November 2016 the previous UK Government decided not to allow Chagossian resettlement. The status of the Marine Protected Area is contested. The UK and Mauritius have been holding talks on sovereignty. In June 2017, the UN General Assembly voted to ask the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on the issue. The US military base on Diego Garcia is set to continue until 2036. Meanwhile, there continues to be litigation in the English courts.
Brexit and Gibraltar
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7963
When the UK leaves the EU Gibraltar., a British Overseas Territory, will leave too. But could special arrangements be negotiated for Gibraltar? Will Spain cooperate in the negotiations between the EU and the UK or could Gibraltar become a bargaining chip for Spain to push its sovereignty claim? This paper considers Gibraltar's constitutional status and some of the possible impacts of Brexit.
Leaving the European Union: Status of Gibraltar
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | Lords In Focus LIF-2017-0041
This House of Lords Library briefing provides background on the government, economy and society of Gibraltar, its historical status, and information on recent debates concerning its sovereignty following the result of the 2016 EU referendum.
Falklands War: 35 Years Anniversary
Published Monday, March 27, 2017 | Lords In Focus LIF-2017-0028
The Falklands War took place between April and June 1982, following an invasion of the Islands by the Argentine military junta. This briefing has been prepared to mark the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War. It provides background to the British and Argentine Governments' claim to sovereignty over the Islands; a summary of the events of the war; and an overview of recent political developments.
Legislating for Brexit: EU external agreements
Published Thursday, January 5, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7850
The EU has over 1,000 external agreements with other countries or organisations, many of which the individual Member States, as well as the EU, have ratified. Many of them concern trade but they cover a range of policy areas and it is not clear what Brexit will mean for the UK's participation in these agreements.
Global Biodiversity
Published Friday, October 28, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0198
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate on global biodiversity, to be held in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 1 November 2016 at 2.30pm. The Member in charge of this debate is Dame Caroline Spelman MP.
Commons Library analysis: Shining a light on beneficial ownership: what's happening in the UK and elsewhere?
Published Friday, June 17, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7616
This Commons Library briefing describes measures being taken in the UK and elsewhere to make ownership of companies, land and real property more transparent.
Commons Library analysis: The international anti-corruption summit in May 2016
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7580
This Commons Library briefing discusses the international summit on anti-corruption held in London on 12 May 2016 and what so far has emerged from it.
Anti-corruption summit in May 2016
Published Friday, April 29, 2016 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2016-0098
This is a short overview of the issues that may be discussed in the debate in Westminster Hall on 3 May 2016 between 9.30 and 11am - Anti-corruption summit. The Member who secured the debate is Nigel Mills MP (Conservative, Amber Valley).
United Kingdom’s Role in Supporting International Security and Stability
Published Friday, November 27, 2015 | Lords Library notes LLN-2015-0046
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 3 December 2015: "that this House takes note of the United Kingdom’s role in supporting international security and stability in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review".
Disputes over the British Indian Ocean Territory: a survey
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers RP13-31
Between 1968 and 1973 the British Government cleared the entire Chagos Archipelago of its inhabitants, opening the way for a US military base on the biggest island, Diego Garcia. The Archipelago was made a British overseas territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Two main disputes have arisen from these events. One has been between the Chagos Islanders and the British Government over the legality of the former’s removal and whether they have a right to return. The other has been between the UK and Mauritius about sovereignty over the BIOT. The UK has said that it will cede sovereignty to Mauritius once the BIOT is no longer required for defence purposes.
Biodiversity in UK Overseas Territories
Published Friday, January 18, 2013 | POSTnotes POST-PN-427
The UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) support a diverse variety of habitats ranging from ice fields and rocky islands to coral reef atolls and tropical forests. This POSTnote summarises the challenges to conservation management and halting biodiversity loss in UKOTs, as required under international agreements.
Antarctic Bill - Committee Stage
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers SN06528
The Antarctic Bill is presented as a Private Member’s Bill by Neil Carmichael MP. This note sets out the issues discussed in the Bill Committee on 21 November 2012. These included: the timing of the enactment of the provisions relating to the liability annex, compatibility with existing shipping liability provisions, and the wider issue of the future of the British Antarctic Survey.
The Turks and Caicos Islands
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05038
This note briefly reviews the crisis of political and economic governance which has affected the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2008. A period of direct rule came to an end when fresh elections were held in November 2012. Only time will tell whether the Turks and Caicos Islands are now set on a new course – and, if so, what that course is.
Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05040
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member’s Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
The Defence of the Falkland Islands
Published Wednesday, February 8, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06201
This note looks at the UK defence presence in the Falkland Islands and reviews the current debate about whether the Islands are adequately defended in the event of future aggression.
Argentina and the Falkland Islands
Published Friday, January 27, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN05602
This Note looks at the last two governments in Argentina under Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who have pursued the Argentinean claim to sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Displaying 1-20 out of 24

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House of Commons Library

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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