Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can find research briefings by sorting by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

Find a briefing paper
  1. Close


    • Commons Library Research Papers: in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other major topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Commons Library Standard Notes: 3,000 briefings on topical issues or frequently asked questions.
    • Lords Library Notes: Written by the research section of the House of Lords Library to provide information on topics of current interest to members
    • POSTnotes: Short briefings produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology analysing policy issues that have a basis in science and technology.
    • POST Reports: Occasional major reports produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Displaying 1-20 out of 5547

  • Pension Schemes Bill 2014-15 - House of Commons stages Published 11 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07030 A guide to debate in the House of Commons on a Bill to provide a new legislative framework for private pensions and make changes relating to the flexibilities for defined contribution pension savers to be introduced from April 2015 Topic: Pensions
  • Catchment-Wide Flood Management Published 11 December 2014 | POST notes POST PN 484 Changing weather patterns have made structural defences less effective at managing flooding. An approach that employs a range of natural flood management measures across a river catchment is likely to reduce the probability of flooding and pressure on structural defences. This POSTnote describes the measures and the challenges of implementing them over large catchments. Topic: Agriculture, Flooding, Water, Wildlife
  • Manufacturing Published 11 December 2014 | Standard notes SN05206 Manufacturing: Data on maufacturing jobs, output and producer confidence. Topic: Economic situation, Manufacturing industries
  • Apprenticeships policy Published 11 December 2014 | Standard notes SN03052 This note provides a summary of apprenticeships policy in England. Topic: Employment schemes, Training
  • Voting systems in the UK Published 11 December 2014 | Standard notes SN04458 This Standard Note provides brief details of the different voting systems currently used in the United Kingdom. Topic: Elections, Electoral systems, General elections
  • Financial and enterprise education in schools Published 11 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06156 This note provides an outline of current arrangements relating to financial and enterprise education in schools. It covers England only. Topic: Schools
  • Progress of the Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15 Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07012 Amended 11 December 2014 The Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15 was introduced on 11 September 2014 and had its second reading on 21 October 2014. The committee stage of the Bill took place on the floor of the House of Commons over two days; the first committee stage debate was on 27 October 2014 and the second was on 3 November 2014. Topic: House of Commons, Members of Parliament, Parliamentary procedure
  • VAT and Churches Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN01051 This note examines how construction work for churches is treated for VAT in the UK, proposals for reform in this area, and the changes made in Budget 2012, removing the zero rate of VAT which had applied to alteration work on listed buildings. It also gives details of the current grant scheme for church repairs. Topic: Cultural heritage, Taxation
  • Planning for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06881 Development Consent Orders for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are granted by the Secretary of State as an alternative to needing planning permission from a local authority. The Government has proposed some changes to this regime, some of which will require new legislation. This note provides further information. Topic: Planning
  • Trade Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN02815 Trade: Trade statistics on the current account for the UK . Topic: Economic situation, International trade
  • Education spending in the UK Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN01078 Briefing paper analysing trends in UK public sector expenditure on education up to 2013-14, plans up to 2015-16, variations within the UK, long term trends in education spending since the 1950s and international comparisons. Topic: Further education, Higher education, Public expenditure, Schools
  • Infrastructure Bill: Planning Provisions Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06909 The Infrastructure Bill 2014-15 would make changes to the planning system: to change the process of development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects, and to allow certain types of planning conditions to be regarded as discharged if a local planning authority took too long to determine an official application to discharge them. This note sets out these provisions and comment on them in more detail. Topic: Planning
  • Green Belt Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN00934 Government's policy on the green belt protection is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. This note sets out concern about green belt protect and Government responses to these concerns. It gives links to further statistics on the size of the green belt. Topic: Environmental protection, Planning
  • Employment by Country of Birth and Nationality Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07056 This note analyses data on employment in the UK by country of birth and nationality. Topic: Employment
  • Small businesses and the UK economy Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06078 This note presents a statistical analysis of small businesses in the UK, the role of small businesses in international trade, small businesses and GDP, small businesses and tax receipts and information on government policy towards small businesses. Topic: Economic situation, Small businesses
  • Infrastructure Policy Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06594 This note examines the current state of infrastructure in the UK, current levels of investment and current Government policy. Topic: Economic policy
  • Main Treaty amendments since the UK joined the EEC Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes 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. Topic: EU Council of Ministers, EU institutions, EU law and treaties, EU political integration, Europe, European Commission, European Council, European Parliament
  • Planning Reform Proposals Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06418 Planning reform proposals to change planning law and policy have been set out by Government in a technical consultation on planning, the National Infrastructure Plan and Autumn Statement. These include changes to permitted development rights, proposals to get more brownfield land back into use and reform of the compulsory purchase regime, among others. Topic: Housing, Housing supply, Planning, Regional planning and development
  • Stamp duty land tax on residential property Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes SN07050 This note discusses the reforms to taxation of sales of residential property announced in the Autumn Statement in December 2014. Topic: Taxation
  • Stimulating housing supply - Government initiatives Published 09 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06416 This note summarises measures taken by the Government to increase housing supply. Topic: Housing, Housing supply

Contact information

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

If you have any comments on briefings from the Commons Library, please contact

Please note, authors are not available to discuss the contents of papers with members of the general public. 

TwitterFollow House of Commons Library on Twitter

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

Email with comments on Lords Library Notes.

Please note that authors are not available to discuss the contents of Library Notes with members of the general public.

POST produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology. You can leave feedback at