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 223

Turnout at elections
Published Thursday, July 27, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8060
This note looks at turnout in a variety of UK elections. It provides a range of statistics on turnout at both national and local elections as well as the devolved administrations and European Parliament elections. Where possible comparisons to other countries are made.
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.
Troops in Afghanistan
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8043
The UK is sending more troops to Afghanistan as part of a wider increase in NATO troop numbers.
British prisoners in Iran
Published Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0143
Debate pack for the Westminster Hall debate on British prisoners in Iran.
Exiting the EU and sanctions
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0148
This Debate Pack has been prepared for the general debate on 'Exiting the European Union and sanctions', to be held in the main chamber on Wednesday 19 July 2017
Israel and Palestinian Talks
Published Monday, July 3, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0131
This Debate Pack has been prepared for the general debate on ‘Israel and Palestinian talks', to be held in the Main Chamber on 5 July 2017.
The 2017 French parliamentary elections
Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8015
What next for President Macron's government after his party's emphatic victory in the 2017 parliamentary elections? What will be the impact on the other major parties and France's relations with the UK? This paper looks at the results of the National Assembly elections, how these work and the functioning of the party system in the Assembly. It also looks to the future, including the challenge's for President Macron's government and the other major parties.
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.
Democratic Republic of Congo: June 2017 update
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7988
President Joseph Kabila has managed to extend his tenure as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo well beyond December 2016,when his original mandate expired. A political agreement reached with the opposition in that month looks to be unravelling. Meanwhile, there has been a new flare-up of violent conflict in the central Kasai region.
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.
The French Presidential election 2017 (second round)
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7962
What are the implications of the 2017 French Presidential Election? What are the prospects for a Marine Le Pen or Emmanuel Macron victory? This paper looks at the candidates, their policies and the future challenges they might face should they win.
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.
South Sudan: April 2017 update
Published Monday, April 10, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7944
South Sudan was born in 2011. Since the moment of its birth, its people have been embroiled in turmoil, conflict and suffering. Although the civil war which has raged since 2013 has complex roots, observers attribute much of the blame to its leaders, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former First Vice-President Riek Machar, who head up opposing political and armed factions of the ruling party.
The Occupied Palestinian Territories: recent developments
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7689
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at recent developments in The Occupied Palestinian Territories (March 2017).
Somalia: February 2017 update
Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7298
Somalia has just completed a long and much-delayed (s)electoral process to create a new parliament and elect a new president. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as Farmajo) was elected the country’s president by parliament on 8 February 2017. President Farmajo faces many daunting challenges.
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.
Kashmir: February 2017 update
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7356
This briefing covers events in Indian-administered Kashmir since 8 July 2016, which have been characterised by a dramatic upsurge in protest and violence on the ground – what some are calling the “worst crisis in a generation”.
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 223

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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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