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 91

Statistics on UK-EU trade
Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7851
This note provides some basic statistics on the UK's trade with the EU.
Trade: Key Economic Indicators
Published Friday, August 11, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN02815
Latest statistics on UK's trade performance and balance of payments.
Brexit: the July negotiations
Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8068
What happened at the second round of Brexit negotiations from 17 to 20 July 2017 and what have we learnt? This first phase of the negotiations aims to reach agreement on citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the border between Ireland the Northern Ireland, as well as other separation issues, such as Euratom, EU external agreements and dispute resolution. But there was little evidence of agreement on any of these, and the UK Government has been asked for more clarification at the next round. A lot is at stake, because if sufficient progress isn't made by October, the negotiations will not move on to future relations, an EU-UK trade agreement or transitional arrangements.
Importance of trade with the EU for UK industries
Published Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8065
This briefing paper looks at the importance of trade with the EU for the sectors and industries of the UK economy. Industries that are highly integrated into the European Single Market face higher risks from Brexit, if Brexit makes trade with the EU more difficult.
Brexit Negotiations: The Irish border question
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8042
The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and how it will operate, is one of the three main areas of discussion in the first phase of Brexit negotiations . This paper sets out the different UK and EU negotiating positions as well as how they both pledge to honour the Good Friday Agreement, and what this pledge commits both sides to. It looks at how the Northern Irish devolved government is inputting into the talks, and how the confidence and supply deal between the Conservative party and the DUP might impact on the negotiations. This paper explores how people will move between the two countries, and how the Common Travel Area might be maintained. It also looks at the complexities of avoiding a 'hard border', the stated position of both the EU and the UK, while still adhering to EU rules on moving goods between itself and countries outside the Single Market and Customs Union.
Brexit: the talks begin
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8017
The Brexit negotiations: what, when and how? This paper looks at the agenda and timetable for the first phase of talks, who is involved on the EU and UK sides, what they will be discussing and what positions - if any - they have taken so far.
Brexit: trade aspects
Published Tuesday, July 4, 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.
Brexit: Agriculture and trade
Published Thursday, June 29, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7974
This paper looks at some the agricultural trade issues raised by Brexit.
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.
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.

Displaying 1-20 out of 91

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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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