Search Lords Library

Search Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Sorted by relevance. Sort by date

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Foreign affairs, defence, and international development

    This year’s Queen’s Speech takes place at a time of severe international tension, with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine dominating the policy agenda. At the same time, conflict in Yemen continues, as do the ramifications of the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan. In defence policy, NATO’s role has come to the fore in the face of Russian aggression, while domestically the UK military continues to undergo significant reform. In international development, focus remains on the UK’s spend on overseas assistance and how it can help those caught up in those conflict zones and elsewhere.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Digital, culture, media and sport

    This article considers some of the legislation that may be announced in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May 2022 relating to digital, culture, media and sport. For example, this could include legislative reforms to broadcasting and digital regulation. The article also sets out information on the bills being carried over to the new session.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Education

    Education measures in the 2022 Queen’s Speech are likely to be dominated by provisions outlined in the schools white paper, published in March 2022. In addition, proposals for new national standards on provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and legislation on school funding and the lifelong loan entitlement (LLE) are expected. A carry-over motion, agreed in April 2022, will also see the continuation of the passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Negative interest rates: The policy debate

    Since 2009 the UK bank base rate has been below 1%, and it was cut to 0.1% in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the economy remaining weak, commentators have debated whether there should be further cuts, taking the interest rate negative for the first time. This article summarises the policy debate.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Public services: impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

    In March 2020, the House of Lords Public Services Committee set up an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on public services which reported in November 2020. Among its findings, the committee identified five weaknesses highlighted by the pandemic that should be addressed to make public services resilient enough to withstand future crises. The committee’s recommendations also aimed to ‘lock-in’ innovations developed during the pandemic to reform public services over the longer-term.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    The use of Napier Barracks to house asylum seekers: regret motion

    Napier Barracks in Kent has been used since 2020 as contingency or temporary accommodation for those seeking asylum. In September 2021, an order was laid before Parliament extending the use of the site for such purposes for another five years. This move came despite significant criticism of facilities at the site, including a judgment from the High Court declaring them inadequate and the Home Office guilty of employing unlawful practices.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022: regret motion

    The House of Lords will soon consider a regret motion on the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022. The order would increase some welfare benefits by around 3% from April 2022. At a time when inflation has increased significantly, the uprating has been criticised for not meeting the rising cost of living.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    To sign or not to sign? Sign language in law, parliament and Covid-19 briefings

    Following Deaf Awareness Week this month, this article looks at British sign language and a campaign for the Government to provide an on-set BSL interpreter at the live televised Covid-19 briefings. It also looks at the introduction of BSL interpretation to certain parliamentary proceedings, most notably for prime minister’s questions.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    May 2021 state opening of parliament: precedents for reduced ceremonials

    The Government has stated that the state opening of parliament and Queen’s Speech scheduled for 11 May 2021 will take place with reduced ceremonial elements due to the coronavirus pandemic. This In Focus looks at how this can differ from a traditional state opening.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Covid-19: The impact on victims of domestic abuse

    Several domestic abuse charities have reported an increase in calls and web traffic during lockdown. This article examines how the coronavirus pandemic on domestic abuse cases and discusses what action the Government has taken to tackle such abuse. The impact that the pandemic is having on the victims of domestic abuse is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 29 June 2020.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Electric scooter regulation: should the law be changed?

    According to UK law, electric scooters can only be used on private land. However, the Government is considering whether the law should be changed. As part of this consideration, the Department for Transport introduced legislation in July 2020 to enable rental e-scooter trials to take place on public roads and cycle lanes across the UK. The Government awaits the outcome of these trials before making a decision on whether to change the law.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Afghanistan: challenges for UK policy

    Even prior to the Taliban’s takeover, Afghanistan suffered from high levels of poverty and corruption and significant human rights issues. It was also heavily dependent on foreign aid. Many of these challenges have been exacerbated by the change of regime. This briefing summarises the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee’s report into UK policy towards Afghanistan and the Government’s response. It also considers recent developments and the potential future direction of UK policy.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Forcibly displaced people

    The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimated that at the end of 2020 more than 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. This briefing considers the UNHCR’s findings and what action the UK Government has taken in relation to the issue of forcibly displaced people.

  • House of Lords Library

    Research Briefing

    International Development Strategy

    On 16 December 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour) that “this House takes note of the plans by Her Majesty’s Government to announce a new international development strategy for the United Kingdom in 2022”.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Budget and the spending review

    Spending reviews set out the Government’s plan for much of its expenditure over the following few years. This article summarises the current position in the spending review cycle. It also describes how reviews relate to budgets, which take place more frequently, and to fiscal rules, which set targets for overall government debt and deficit. Finally, it considers the possible impact of coronavirus on these three elements of fiscal policy.

  • House of Lords Library

    In Focus

    Scotland’s contribution to the UK’s economy, wellbeing and quality of life

    Assessing Scotland’s contribution to the wider UK economy and to UK wellbeing is complex. This article presents information on factors involved in this relationship, including data on the Scottish and UK economies and the effect of devolution on the UK economy as a whole. It also summarises surveys of peoples’ wellbeing in the UK.