Spring Budget 2020: Background briefing

This briefing sets out the background to Spring Budget 2020 which will take place on 11 March 2020. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will publish revised forecasts for the economy and public finances on the same day.

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Planning for a no-deal Brexit

After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019 the Government intensified planning for a no-deal Brexit and stressed its intention to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October with or without a deal. But the UK remained in the EU after 31 October after a further extension of the Article 50 period was agreed with the EU. A no-deal Brexit however remains the default outcome if an agreement is not ratified. This briefing paper provides an overview of Government and EU preparations for a no-deal Brexit, and of recent reports analysing the possible impact of this outcome…

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Suicide Prevention: Policy and Strategy

This House of Commons Library briefing paper examines suicide prevention policies and strategies throughout the UK. It outlines national and local approaches to prevention policy in England, as well as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It does so by considering the strategies of the UK Government, as well as the devolved administrations, from various policy perspectives.…

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EU preparations for a no-deal Brexit

The EU and the other 27 Member States have been preparing for a possible no-deal, or ‘disorderly’, Brexit. The European Commission has had a no-deal preparedness plan which is now complete, and the EU27 have also been implementing their own preparations which will take effect if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement at the end of October 2019. This paper looks at the EU preparedness programme and at some of the EU27 measures, particularly in the area of citizens’ rights.…

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Brexit: parliamentary scrutiny of UK replacement treaties

The UK is party to hundreds of international treaties with third states or organisations, many of them on trade, by virtue of its EU membership. To continue to benefit from the advantages of these agreements, the Government has been seeking to replace them in a UK bilateral context. The Government has prioritised trade agreements, but has also agreed replacement agreements covering aviation services and safety, and road transport, for example. But Parliament is not happy about the way the Government is carrying out this ‘treaty continuity programme’ and Committees in both Houses have called for a greater scrutiny role for Parliament in treaty-making processes. This paper looks at what has been going on and what Parliamentary Committees in both Houses have asked for. It includes a table showing where we are with scrutiny of these treaties and what sort of scrutiny they have undergone, both in their precursor form as EU treaties and currently as replacement treaties.…

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High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 2a

This paper provides general information on the proposed high-speed rail line between London and the North of England (HS2). It gives a brief overview of the scheme, its costs, compensation arrangements and the Bill which would give statutory and planning authority for the construction of Phase 2a of the scheme between the West Midlands and Crewe. …

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