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.

Find a briefing paper
  1. Close


    • 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.
  2. Close


    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 41-60 out of 85

Reforming the EU: UK plans, proposals and prospects
Published Monday, March 16, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN07138
Prime Minister David Cameron would like to reform the EU and renegotiate the UK’s relationship with it, before holding an in/out referendum in 2017 if a Conservative government is elected in May 2015. The UK’s new relationship with the EU would be put to the electorate, who would decide whether the UK should remain in the EU under new terms or be the first Member State to leave the EU. This Note looks at what the Government is doing to tackle some of the perceived weaknesses of EU policy and procedures and looks at prospects for future reform.
The UK in the European Union: in brief
Published Monday, December 15, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN07060
What has happended in the European Economic Community since the UK joined in 1973?
Main Treaty amendments since the UK joined the EEC
Published Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN07055
Many argue that the EU is a far cry from what the UK signed up to in 1973. This note looks at the major Treaty changes since the UK joined the EEC in 1973.
The UK block opt-out in police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters: recent developments
Published Monday, November 10, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06930
The UK Government would like to opt back into 35 measures in the area of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, but will the other EU Member States agree unanimously on this? Will the Government manage to get approval for the draft regulations published on 6 November which complete the transposition of 11 of the 35 opt-back-ins?
A new Commission President in 2014
Published Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06922
Will David Cameron succeed in blocking the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission President? Juncker has the support of most Member State governments but the UK Prime Minister thinks he is too integrationist and would not implement necessary reforms.
European Union (Referendum) Bill and the Parliament Acts
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06912
The European Union (Referendum) Bill could be presented for Royal Assent under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 if it is passed by the House of Commons and rejected again by the House of Lords.
Democratic Legitimacy and the EU: reading list
Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06871
Is the European Union democratic? There is a vast amount of academic literature and a range of political views on the subject of the EU’s democratic legitimacy and how it might be improved.
European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013-14-progress of the bill
Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06711
This Standard Note sets out progress on the European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013-4 introduced by the Conservative MP James Wharton, who was first in the ballot for Private Members’ Bills. Research Paper 13/41 European Union (Referendum) Bill gives full background to the Bill.
The Commission Work Programme 2014
Published Friday, January 17, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06797
The European Commission's Work Programme for 2014 sets out four priority areas in which it intends to act: economic and monetary union, sustainable growth, justice and security and external action. The UK Government broadly supports the programme but has some specific concerns and reservations.
Leaving the EU
Published Monday, July 1, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers RP13-42
The Treaty on European Union provides for a Member State to leave the EU, either on the basis of a negotiated withdrawal agreement or without one. If the UK were to leave the EU following a referendum, it is likely that the Government would negotiate an agreement with the EU, which would probably contain transitional arrangements as well as provide for the UK’s long-term future relations with the EU. There is no precedent for such an agreement, but it would in all likelihood come at the end of complex and lengthy negotiations.
Regulation of Referendums
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers SN05142
This Note sets out the mechanics for holding referendums. It summarises the applicable provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) which regulate publicity and campaigning.
Debate on 31 January: Prime Minister’s Speech on Europe
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 | Lords Library notes LLN-2013-002
This Library Note provides a short history of Prime Ministerial speeches on Europe since 1970; outlines Government policy towards Europe since 2010; summarises David Cameron’s speech and selected reaction to it; and considers some aspects of the proposed renegotiation and referendum. It concludes with information about trends in public opinion towards Britain’s membership of the EU.
Referendums on the European Union
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06472
This Note charts the referendums on EU matters held in candidate and Member States since 1972, with brief details on turnout and results.
The UK and Europe: time for a new relationship?
Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06393
This note looks at views on a referendum on the UK’s EU membership, and government, parliamentary and public views on the UK’s future relations with the EU.
Repatriating EU powers to Member States
Published Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06153
The EU Treaties as amended by the Lisbon Treaty provides for the first time a Treaty base for the return, as well as the increase, of powers. Either would in all likelihood require a Treaty amendment.
In brief: leaving the European Union
Published Thursday, October 20, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06089
The Lisbon Treaty allows EU Member States to leave the European Union. However, the process, as yet untested, would in all likelihood not be straightforward and would involve negotiating a new relationship for the UK with the EU.
The European Union Bill 2010-11: Lords Committee and Report Stages
Published Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN06024
This Note looks at Lords amendments to the European Union Bill 2010-11 covering Committee and Report stages, and Third Reading.
The Government's Policy on Europe
Published Monday, February 7, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05854
This Note looks at the Government's policy on Europe: first, at the election manifestos of the two parties, the Coalition Programme for Government and the Government's response since May 2010 to matters concerning the EU.
The Lisbon Strategy
Published Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN03404
The Lisbon Strategy. By Dominic Webb. SN/EP/3404.
The Lisbon Treaty: ratification by the Czech Republic
Published Monday, November 9, 2009 | Commons Briefing papers SN05214
This Note looks at the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by the Czech Republic.

Displaying 41-60 out of 85

About libraries

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

House of Lords Library

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.

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers
  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Lords In Focus
  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Lords Library notes
  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts POSTnotes
  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts POSTbriefs