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.
Glyphosate: Controversy surrounding the EU's re-approval of the pesticide
Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8066
Glyphosate was re-approved for use in the EU in November 2017 and the legal act enabling this was adopted in December 2017. This approval was subject to delay as a range of scientific evidence was considered regarding potential health risks with fierce debate over a number of years.
Commons Library analysis: Bees and neonicotinoids
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06656
This briefing concentrates on the interaction between bees and a group of insecticides - known as neonicotinoids - which have been in the spotlight after a number of studies yielded evidence (although much of that evidence is contested) of sub-lethal, harmful effects on bees. In July 2015, the UK Government granted an emergency authorisation for the use of restricted neonicotinoids on oil seed rape seeds in four English counties. Similar application for emergency authorisations for 2016 and 2017 were rejected.
Urban Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services
Published Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | POSTbriefs POST-PB-0026
This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban biodiversity and green infrastructure and the challenges for improving their provision - complementing POSTnote 538 on Green Space and Health.
Household flood insurance
Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06613
This note outlines issues relating to flood insurance within the UK and the establishment of the Flood Re scheme by the Water Act and subsequent Regulations.
Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture
Published Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0557
Agricultural practices can reduce water quality, degrade soils and cause biodiversity loss. This in turn can disrupt natural processes that support food production. Environmentally sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce environmental damage and restore such processes. This POSTnote summarises associated land management options, agricultural policies and the constraints imposed by a new trading environment.
Security of UK Food Supply
Published Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0556
This note outlines current UK trade in food and animal feed, examines the challenges raised to the security of UK food supply by withdrawal from the EU and analyses the policy options available for improving UK food security
Brexit: What next for UK fisheries?
Published Tuesday, July 4, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7669
The implications of Brexit for fisheries are highly uncertain and will depend on future negotiations with the EU and future UK Government policy. The Government announced its intention to introduce a new Fisheries Bill in the 2017 Queen's Speech.
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.
Key Issues 2017
Published Monday, June 26, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8021
Key Issues 2017 is a series of short briefings on the topics that will take centre stage in UK and international politics in the new Parliament. Written by impartial Commons Library specialists, these articles are designed to help the reader get up to speed quickly on issues such as; Brexit, the housing crisis, the future of devolution and much more.
Topics: Administration of justice, Agriculture and environment, Armed forces, Asylum, Central government, Common Agricultural Policy, Community care, Companies, Competition, Construction industry, Consumers, Countryside, Crime, Crimes of violence, Criminal law, Defence policy, Economic and monetary union, Economic policy, Employment, Energy, Environmental protection, EU budget, EU defence policy, EU enlargement, EU external relations, EU grants and loans, EU institutions, EU law and treaties, Farmers, Fisheries, Flooding, Health services, Housing, Immigration, Incomes and poverty, Information technology, International economic relations, International politics and government, International trade, Internet and cybercrime, Local government, Manufacturing industries, Nationality, Obesity, Pollution, Prisons, Public administration, Regional development agencies, Regulation, Schools, Service industries, Taxation, Terrorism, Tourism, Working age benefits
The 5p Plastic Bag Charge
Published Thursday, June 22, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7241
This Commons Library briefing paper provides information on the single use carrier bag charge in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, examines the legal basis for the charge, the exemptions and what will be done with the proceeds of the charge. It also examines the impact of the charges to date.
Queen's Speech 2017 Day 2: Business, Economic Affairs, Transport, Energy, Environment and Agriculture
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0024
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.
Topics: Agriculture, Aviation, Buses, Business support, Climate change, Companies, Countryside, Economic policy, Economic situation, Energy, Environmental protection, Railways, Roads
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.
Topics: Armed forces, Arms control, Aviation, Central government, Data protection, Emergencies and disaster management, Employment, Energy, EU law and treaties, Financial institutions, Health services, Industry, Information technology, Intelligence services, International law, International trade, Internet and cybercrime, Ministers, Offensive weapons, Privacy, Railways, Regulation, Roads, Security industry, Standards, Students, Terrorism, Training, Utilities, Water
EU Agencies and post-Brexit options
Published Friday, April 28, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7957
What are EU agencies and what do they do? Will the UK be able to participate in their activities after Brexit? And what will happen to the two that are based in the UK? This paper looks at the roles and functions of EU agencies, the issues surrounding the two UK-based agencies, and whether there are options for continued UK participation after Brexit.
Topics: Administration of justice, Animals, Asylum, Aviation, Climate change, Common Agricultural Policy, Companies, Consumers, Crime, Criminal law, Defence policy, Diseases, Energy, Environmental protection, EU external relations, EU institutions, EU law and treaties, Europe, Financial institutions, Financial services, Fisheries, Food, Further education, Health education and preventive medicine, Higher education, Human rights, Immigration, Industrial health and safety, Industrial relations, Industry, Information technology, Intelligence services, International law, International organisations, Media, Medicine, Pensions, Railways, Regulation, Research and innovation, Science, Terrorism, Training
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.
Topics: Armed forces, Arms control, Aviation, Companies, Defence equipment and procurement, Defence expenditure, Defence policy, Economic policy, Employment, EU budget, European Commission, Industry, Intellectual property, International trade, Medicine, Research and innovation, Roads, Science, Utilities, Water
Digital Economy Bill: Lords Amendments
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7953
Lords amendments to the Digital Economy Bill will be considered by the House of Commons on 26 April 2017. There are 289 amendments, and this paper outlines the key changes put forward.
Employment opportunities in food and farming
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0124
A debate, entitled "Employment opportunities in food and farming" and sponsored by Derek Thomas MP, will take place on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at 2.30pm in Westminster Hall.
Topics: Agriculture, Animals, Countryside, Employment, Fisheries, Food, Forestry, Further education, Higher education, Schools, Training
Shale gas and fracking
Published Thursday, April 13, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06073
The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill’s passage through Parliament.
Legislating for Brexit: EU directives
Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7943
What are EU directives and what will happen to them when the UK leaves the EU? This paper looks at EU directives in force and how they are implemented in the UK. This will give some idea of the task ahead for UK legislators.
Topics: Administration of justice, Agriculture, Animals, Asylum, Aviation, Benefits policy, Business support, Central government, Climate change, Common Agricultural Policy, Companies, Competition, Consumers, Countryside, Crime, Criminal law, Cultural heritage, Devolution, Diseases, Employment, Energy, Environmental protection, Equality, EU institutions, EU law and treaties, Europe, Financial services, Firearms, Fisheries, Food, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Forestry, Health education and preventive medicine, Health finance, Health services, Health staff and professions, Higher education, Human rights, Immigration, Industrial health and safety, Industrial relations, Industry, Insolvency, Intellectual property, International economic relations, International law, International organisations, International trade, Legislative process, Medicine, Parliament, Patient rights and complaints, Pensions, Pollution, Postal services, Privacy, Railways, Regulation, Research and innovation, Roads, Security industry, Shipping, Small businesses, Standards, Students, Taxation, Terrorism, Training, Utilities, Waste management, Water
UK offshore oil and gas industry
Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7268
This Commons Library briefing paper provides a summary of the state of the UK offshore oil and gas industries and outlines the industry, the regulatory framework and key challenges for the industry.
E-petition 165672 relating to badger culling
Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0075
This House of Commons Library Debate Pack has been prepared ahead of the Westminster Hall debate on E-petition 165672 on badger culling to be held on Monday 27 March at 4.30pm.