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 85

Queen's Speech 2017 Day 1: Foreign Affairs, Defence, Trade and International Development
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0023
This Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of the forthcoming Queen’s Speech, which is due to take place on 21 June 2017. The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen’s Speech over five days between 22 and 29 June 2017. This briefing is one of five prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
UK aid: frequently asked questions
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7996
What is aid? What is the UN 0.7% aid target and why has the UK adopted it? Which government departments spend UK aid? What impact does UK aid have? What will be the impact of Brexit on UK aid? These and other questions are answered in an accessible way in this briefing paper.
Trade: Key Economic Indicators
Published Friday, June 9, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN02815
Latest statistics on UK's trade performance and balance of payments.
The legal and regulatory framework for UK arms exports
Published Friday, June 9, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN02729
This briefing provides an overview of the development of the legal and regulatory framework for UK arms exports since 1997. It also describes the main changes to this regulatory framework under the 2015-17 Conservative Government. During the last parliament there was also controversy over the use of UK-manufactured arms by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Looking ahead to the new parliament, some might take the view that it would be desirable, before Brexit happens, for there to be new legislation confirming the binding status in UK law of the current version of the Consolidated Criteria.
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.
Cyber Security of UK Infrastructure
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0554
The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.
Quantum Technologies
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0552
Quantum Technologies use the behaviour of matter and light that is normally only observed at very small scales. This POSTnote introduces recent advances, applications, and UK initiatives to support their development and commercialisation. It also reviews policy concerns such as privacy, access to new technologies and secure communications.
Motor industry: statistics and policy
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00611
The motor vehicle manufacturing industry in the UK: statistics and policy.
Leaving the European Union: World Trade Organisation
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0017
This Library briefing provides an overview of the World Trade Organisation. It examines the history, structure and membership of the organisation. It provides information on the agreements underpinning the international trading system and the principles that govern trade between members of the WTO. It also considers how the UK would trade with the EU under WTO terms, if the UK left the EU without a trade deal.
Brexit: trade aspects
Published Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7694
This paper looks at possible options for the UK's trading relationships with the EU after Brexit. The paper has been updated to include a new chapter on trade with non-EU countries.
Leaving the European Union: The UK and Ireland
Published Monday, March 13, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0012
For the UK, the decision to leave the EU could have a significant impact, particularly on its relationship with Ireland. This includes on peace and security, which encompasses the peace process following the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland, known as ‘the Troubles’, border controls and the Common Travel Area; and trade, particularly the bilateral trade relationship between UK and Ireland. This briefing examines the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU on its relationship with Ireland, particularly, in regards to peace, security and trade. In addition to covering the aforementioned issues in closer detail, this briefing also examines the current situation in both the UK and Ireland, and discusses the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU, drawing upon commentary from UK and Irish heads of governments, political parties, think tanks and organisations.
Spring Budget 2017: Background briefing
Published Friday, March 3, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7913
The briefing sets out the background to Spring Budget 2017 which will take place on Wednesday 8 March 2017. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will publish revised forecasts for the economy and public finances on the same day.
Trophy Hunting: UK and international policy
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7908
This Commons Library Briefing Paper looks at the issues surrounding trophy hunting, particularly the sport of hunting lions. It examines the impacts of this industry on biodiversity and asks whether it can contribute positively to conservation.
Promoting trade with the Commonwealth
Published Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0049
A debate will be held on promoting trade with the Commonwealth to in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 22 February at 2.30pm. The subject for debate has been chosen by Jake Berry MP.
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
Published Monday, February 20, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0009
This Lords Library briefing provides information on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill ahead of its second reading on 20 and 21 February 2017. The Bill would give the Prime Minister power to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union, under the procedure set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
Burma: February 2017 update
Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7901
Many hoped that the November 2015 general election would be a tipping-point in Burma’s ‘democratic transition’, which began in 2011. While there have been many positive developments since then, the limits of Aung San Suu Kyi's power are arguably being exposed by her inability to control the actions of the security forces in Rakhine State, where they stand accused by the UN and international human rights groups of committing further serious human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya over the past three months or so.
Nigeria: February 2017 update
Published Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7897
This briefing reviews the current political and economic situation in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Displaying 1-20 out of 85

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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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