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 242

The 2018 Venezuelan Presidential elections
Published Friday, May 18, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8315
Venezuela is facing a growing political, economic and social crisis. With Presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, can things get better? This paper looks at the political developments in Venezuela from Hugo Chavez’s death in 2013 to today, the candidates and their prospects, and what might happen afterwards. Most analysts believe the incumbent President Nicolás Maduro, will win another term. However, a lot will depend on how many voters heed the main opposition bloc's call to boycott the elections, or whether they will turn out to vote for Maduro's opponent- former Chavista -Henri Falcón. With the economy in crisis, and growing poverty, hunger and disease fuelling mass migration, the prospects for Venezuela, regardless of who wins the election, do not look bright.
An introduction to UK arms exports
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8312
A short introduction to UK arms exports. This Commons Library paper explains what arms exports are, what controls are in place and the process for granting licenses. It briefly looks at some of the most commonly raised concerns about UK arms exports.
UK aid: frequently asked questions
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | 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 Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017-19
Published Friday, May 4, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8107
The Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017-19 makes provision for nuclear safeguards after the UK leaves Euratom. This Briefing Paper discusses the background to and content of the Bill. Lords amendments to the Bill are being considered by the House of Commons on 8 May 2018.
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2017-19 - Committee Stage report
Published Friday, April 27, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8295
On 2 May the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2017-19 has its remaining stages in the House of Commons, having been amended in Committee.
Somalia: March 2018 update
Published Tuesday, March 27, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7298
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as Farmajo) was elected Somalia's president by parliament on 8 February 2017. During the campaign he promised to renew the fight against corruption and suggested that he would be open to talks with al-Shabaab. He came into office with a reputation for competence. However, just over a year on, this reputation is already being severely tested.
Brexit: the draft withdrawal agreement
Published Monday, March 26, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8269
The Commission published a draft legal text of the withdrawal agreement in February 2018 and an updated draft on 15 March. On 19 March a third text was published which showed where there is full agreement between the EU and the UK, where there is agreement in principle and where there is no agreement. This paper looks at the recent draft, making reference to earlier drafts where relevant.
Kashmir: March 2018 update
Published Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 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”.
Science Diplomacy
Published Thursday, February 8, 2018 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0568
A POSTnote which explains what science diplomacy involves, outlining the mechanisms and settings that encourage organisations and individuals to build international relations through science-related activities.
Democratic Republic of Congo: January 2018 update
Published Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 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 mandate expired. New elections are now scheduled for December 2018, but some believe that he will find ways to delay them further.
Pakistan: January 2018 update
Published Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8212
National elections are due to be held in Pakistan in mid-2018. It will inevitably be a testing year for the country’s still-fragile democracy.
Burma: January 2018 update
Published Tuesday, January 9, 2018 | 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. The new National League for Democracy government took office in April 2016 in an atmosphere of hope – but the honeymoon has turned out to be brief. The limits of Aung San Suu Kyi's power have been exposed by her inability to control the actions of the security forces in Rakhine State, where they stand accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya. Her international reputation has been damaged and there is now talk of reintroducing sanctions.
Balochistan: Pakistan's forgotten conflict
Published Tuesday, January 2, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers SN06106
This note provides a brief background to the protracted, but all but forgotten conflict in Balochistan, a marginalised but resource-rich and strategically important province of Pakistan.
Brexit: 'sufficient progress' to move to phase 2
Published Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8183
This paper looks at the path towards 'sufficient progress' in the first phase of Brexit negotiations and the Joint Report agreed by the UK Government and the EU. It focuses on the three priority areas: citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The paper also looks at other recent developments and parliamentary consideration of Brexit.
Sudan: December 2017 update
Published Friday, December 15, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8180
The civil war may have ended but peace in Sudan remains elusive. This Commons Library briefing paper looks at recent developments in Sudan including peace efforts, UK relations and the recent easing of sanctions by the US.
Local, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and European Parliament elections: Social Indicators page
Published Monday, November 27, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN02634
Local, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and European Parliament elections: Social Indicators page. A summary of recent election results.
Brexit: the November negotiations
Published Friday, November 24, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8159
Was progress made in the sixth round of Brexit negotiations? This paper looks at what happened in the latest round of talks in each of the priority areas and at other developments linked to Brexit in the UK and the EU.
Ukrainian Holodomor
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0213
A debate on the ‘Ukrainian Holodomor’ has been scheduled for Tuesday 7 November 2017 in Westminster Hall at 2.30pm. The debate has been initiated by Mrs Pauline Latham.
Bangladesh: October 2017 update
Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7452
Elections are due within a year or so in Bangladesh. The main political parties continue to be at loggerheads. Some detect a growing authoritarianism and there are concerns about the threat from terrorism. In recent months the country has also faced a massive refugee influx of Muslim Rohingya from Burma.

Displaying 1-20 out of 242

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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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