Commons Briefing Papers

03.06.2016Business and Consumer Confidence: Key Economic Indicators
Business and Consumer Confidence: Information on business and consumer confidence surveys, which is generally released ahead of official statistical data and can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle.
26.05.2016Consumer protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide a brief overview of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (as amended).
19.04.2016Shop opening hours and Sunday trading
This Commons' briefing paper sets out the current legal position in respect of shop opening hours, including Sunday trading. It considers the Government's consultation, and looks in detail at the Government's recent attempts to devolve Sunday trading rules to local areas using the Enterprise Bill. Finally, this paper provides a summary of the views of interested parties and useful Sunday trading statistics.
25.02.2016Household recycling in the UK
This Commons Library Briefing Paper discusses UK trends in recycling and the applicable legislation at both EU and UK level. It provides an overview of the EU circular economy proposals and explains recycling policy across the UK. It also includes information on common barriers to recycling and local authority approaches to overcoming these barriers.
23.02.2016The role of the Advertising Standards Authority
This Commons' briefing paper provides a brief overall of the functions and remit of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
05.02.2016Nuisance Calls: Unsolicited sales and marketing, and silent calls
Nuisance calls (i.e. unsolicited - and unwanted - marketing messages, silent or abandoned calls) cause widespread harm and inconvenience which have been acknowledged by previous and current Governments and the relevant regulators. This note sets out the key regulations which seek to address nuisance calls and the main sources of assistance and their limitations.
27.01.2016Are estate agents regulated?
This Commons Library briefing paper provides an outline of the current regulation of estate agents in England and Wales only. The situation is very different in Scotland, where there are different property laws. In Scotland, there is a much earlier legally binding agreement between the buyer and seller of a property.
15.12.2015Prohibition of tobacco display in shops
The purpose of this briefing paper is to consider in detail the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended) and the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Specialist Tobacconists) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended).
14.12.2015ECO, the Energy Company Obligation
This Commons Briefing paper sets out the details of the Government's Energy Company Obligation scheme that provides funding for energy efficiency measures for difficult to treat homes and the homes of 'those most in need.'

Lords Library Notes

26.06.2014Consumer Rights Bill (HL Bill 29 of 2014-15)
The Consumer Rights Bill makes provision for the reform of consumer law in the UK and connected areas of law. This Note summarises the Bill's report stage and third reading in the House of Commons.
19.04.2012Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 139 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides background information on the Sunday Trading (London Olympic and Paralympic Games) Bill due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 April 2012.


24.05.2016Financial Technology (FinTech)
Financial Technology (FinTech) describes the application of digital technology to financial services. This POSTnote reviews how and why FinTech is being used, and the benefits and challenges it presents to the UK.
29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
28.05.2015Sugar and Health
Sugars can be added to food and drinks or occur naturally in fruit, vegetables and milk. A high sugar diet increases the risk of tooth decay and weight gain, and high consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks is associated with type 2 diabetes. This paper describes trends in sugar consumption in the UK, the public health implications and outlines policy options.
08.08.2014Alternative Currencies
This POSTnote outlines the different types and aims of these currencies. It also sets out how alternative currencies are being used and highlights regulatory and policy challenges regarding consumer protection, financial crime and taxation and benefits.
15.07.2014Big Data and Business
POSTnote exploring how big data is being used by UK companies and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
05.03.2014Social Media and Big Data
This POSTnote examines the application of 'big data' approaches to social media in three key areas: elections and polling, commercial applications and security. It also covers the regulation of social media data and public concerns around privacy.

Select Committee Reports

24.03.2010Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Helping over-indebted consumers.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
14.07.2009Environmental labelling.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
07.07.2009EU Consumer Rights Directive: getting it right.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
03.03.2009Environmental labelling.
Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House regrets that the victims of the failed Christmas hamper and savings company Farepak have not yet received compensation following the company's liquidation in October ...
That this House is concerned that Virgin Media is proposing to close itsLiverpool offices in Albert Dock with the loss of over 400 jobs; notes that Virgin's aim is to reduce office ...
That this House believes that the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot should be properly commemorated and that the significance of 5 November should be remembered; recognises the importance ...
That this House believes that unfair bank and financial transaction charges are still causing significant problems for millions of UK consumers, especially those on low incomes; notes ...
That this House welcomes the super-complaint made by Consumer Focus to the Office of Fair Trading on 21 September 2011, raising concerns about the amount that UK consumers pay for foreign ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) 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.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - 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
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - 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.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses