The constitution by topic

Constitution includes the following topic areas. Please click the links to access lists of publications by topic:

Devolution

  • ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ and threats facing the UK

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) published the command paper ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ on 22 March 2021, setting out how the UK’s defence capabilities will support the Government’s integrated review of security, defence, development, and foreign policy. The command paper contained a range of measures, including how the UK will respond to current and future threats. This article summarises those provisions ahead of a forthcoming debate in the House of Lords on these issues.

    ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’ and threats facing the UK
  • Common frameworks and the devolved nations

    Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK now has power to make decisions which used to be made at EU level. Several of these powers relate to policy areas that the devolved nations are individually responsible for. The UK and devolved governments have been developing common frameworks to ensure regulatory consistency in these policy areas.

    Common frameworks and the devolved nations
View all briefings on devolution

Elections

  • Integrity of the UK’s electoral processes

    The Electoral Commission recently reported the highest level of public confidence in the way elections are run in the UK. Since the Pickles report in 2016, the Government has committed to increasing the security of the UK’s elections. The Elections Bill, currently in committee stage in the House of Commons, contains a range of measures intended to fulfil this ambition. One proposal, to introduce voter ID, has been widely criticised.

    Integrity of the UK’s electoral processes
View all briefings on elections

Government

  • Current Affairs Digest: Economics (November 2021)

    Catch up on developments in economics this month. We take a look at a report by the Centre for Social Justice on how public procurement could help with levelling up, and demystify current debates around inflation and whether the Bank of England should raise interest rates.

    Current Affairs Digest: Economics (November 2021)
  • House of Lords appointments: should the process be reviewed?

    Since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019, the Government has made 83 appointments to the House of Lords. The Government has argued these appointments have been necessary to refresh the House. However, concerns have been expressed about the number of new appointments and the increase in the number of Conservative members. On 18 November 2021, the House of Lords will debate whether the process by which appointments are made should be reviewed.

    House of Lords appointments: should the process be reviewed?
  • Quantitative easing

    Quantitative easing (QE) is a form of monetary policy first used in the UK during the financial crisis. In July 2021, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published a report on the policy. It concluded that QE had succeeded in stabilising the economy in crisis conditions, but that it remains poorly understood and has led to perceptions that the Bank of England has become politicised.

    Quantitative easing
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Local government

View all briefings on local government

Parliament

  • Hereditary By-elections: Results

    Hereditary peer by-elections are held within the House of Lords to replace excepted hereditary peers who have retired or died. This Lords Library Briefing provides a list of hereditary peers’ by-election results since the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999, including information on turn out and the number of candidates.

    Hereditary By-elections: Results
  • House of Lords appointments: should the process be reviewed?

    Since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019, the Government has made 83 appointments to the House of Lords. The Government has argued these appointments have been necessary to refresh the House. However, concerns have been expressed about the number of new appointments and the increase in the number of Conservative members. On 18 November 2021, the House of Lords will debate whether the process by which appointments are made should be reviewed.

    House of Lords appointments: should the process be reviewed?
View all briefings on parliament