Parliament

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on Parliament. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
28.01.2015Scotland the referendum and independence: Selected timeline
This Note gives a selected timeline of events and significant publications leading up to the Referendum in Scotland on 18 September 2014 and to some of the potential follow-up events.
28.01.2015Dissolution of Parliament
Under provisions in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament is dissolved automatically 25 working days before a general election. The Act sets the date of the next general election as 7 May 2015, accordingly this Parliament will dissolve on 30 March 2015.
27.01.2015House of Commons : hours sat and late sittings since 1979
House of Commons late sittings have been reduced by successive changes in the last 20 years. In 2013-14, just 22% of its sittings were after 10pm, compared to over 70% 20 years ago.
13.01.2015Coalitions at Westminster
This standard note looks at coalition governments at Westminster, in the light of the first peacetime coalition government since 1931, formed after the May 2010 general election. It examines incidents where cabinet collective responsibility did not apply and looks at the operation of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.
05.12.2014England, Scotland, Wales: MPs & voting in the House of Commons
This note analyses the geographic composition of governments and voting patterns of MPs representing England, Scotland and Wales in the House of Commons. It does so in light of the recent Smith Commission Heads of Agreement on further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, along with subsequent debate about both Scottish representation at Westminster and 'English votes for English laws'.

Research Papers

DateDescription
15.10.2014European Union (Referendum) Bill
This Private Member's Bill was introduced to the Commons on 2 July 2014 and requires the holding of a referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union (EU) before the end of 2017. This Paper has been prepared as a guide in advance of the second reading on Friday 17 October.
13.10.2014House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament - November 2014
This special briefing paper has been produced to help Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) prepare for the House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament which takes place on 14 November.
09.10.2014Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15
The Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15 was introduced on 11 September 2014, and is scheduled to be debated on second reading on 14 October. There was a commitment to legislate to introduce a power of recall in the Coalition Agreement, and a draft bill was scrutinised by the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in 2012.
27.02.2014Census 2011 Constituency results: United Kingdom
Census data for UK constituencies - age, country of birth, ethnicity, car ownership housing tenure. Highest and lowest constituencies, maps and access to demographic profiles of all parliamentary constituencies.
18.11.2013Women in Parliament: making a difference since 1918
This document, produced especially for Parliament Week 2013, examines the role that women have played in Parliament. It includes a statistics on the increasing number of women in Parliament, brief profiles of selected Women Members and finishes by examining key pieces of legislation that have been passed by women.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
13.09.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions - government response to the Committee's eighth report.
Government response. Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
14.07.2011Select committees and public appointments.
House of Commons Liaison Committee report [Commons]
09.06.2011Cabinet Manual.
Government response. Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
10.05.2011Parliament's role in conflict decisions.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
28.04.2011Seminar on the House of Lords: outcomes Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee seventh
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
07.12.2011SKYLINE OF THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
That this House congratulates the hon. Members and staff of the House who have successfully campaigned for the removal of the prefabricated buildings which blighted the roof of the ...
24.11.2011LOBBYING
That this House calls for Government action on lobbying that would prohibit relatives and partners of Government Ministers from hawking their contacts and influence to the highest bidder ...
24.11.2011BREACHES OF THE MINISTERIAL CODE (No. 2)
That this House calls for new clarity in the Ministerial Code on declarations of interest on Ministerial engagements that are classified as Ministerial or private; and notes the recent ...
24.11.2011BREACHES OF THE MINISTERIAL CODE
That this House notes that the investigation into the breach of the Ministerial code by the former Secretary of State for Defence was itself a breach of the code which explicitly names ...
14.11.2011AN ENGLISH PARLIAMENT
That this House should establish a select committee to report on the cases for and against establishing an English Parliament.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
29.01.2015A Brief History of the Magna Carta
This Note will consider the background to the introduction of the Magna Carta and consider the influence the Magna Carta has had in the 800 years since its creation.
23.10.2014Debate on 29 October 2014: Devolution Following the Scotland Referendum
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate in the House of Lords on 29 October 2014 on devolution following the Scottish independence referendum, which took place on 18 September 2014.
27.03.2014Hereditary Peers in the House of Lords Since 1999
The House of Lords Act 1999 ended the centuries-old linkage between the hereditary peerage and membership of the House of Lords. The majority of hereditary Peers left the House of Lords in November 1999, but under a compromise arrangement, 92 of their number, known as 'excepted' hereditary Peers still sit in the House today.
24.03.2014Britain and the First World War: Parliament, Empire and Commemoration
The centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked in 2014. Britain entered the conflict in August 1914 and remained at war until November 1918.
10.03.2014Second Chambers
This Library Note looks at bicameral legislatures in other parts of the world and provides an overview of some of the features of other second chambers, and how these compare to the current House of Lords.
07.03.2014House of Lords Reform (No 2) Bill (HL Bill 92 of 2013-14)
The House of Lords Reform (No 2) Bill is a private members' bill, which was introduced into the House of Commons on 19 June 2013. The Bill makes provision for retirement from the House of Lords, and for the expulsion of Members of the House of Lords in specified circumstances.

POST Papers

DateDescription
01.09.2009Futures and Foresight, May 2009
This POSTnote examines the key characteristics of futures work and its use by governments and parliaments.
01.01.2009E-democracy, January 2009
This POSTnote looks at recent UK e-democracy initiatives, and at challenges faced in their design and implementation. It examines debate over the purpose of eDemocracy and where its future lies.

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses