Flags:the Union Flag and Flags of the United Kingdom

Flags, national and other, have an ongoing cultural significance. The Union Flag, commonly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Flying of flags is not the subject of statute law in England, Wales or Scotland. Advice is issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on flying of flags on government buildings, apart from those which are the responsibility of a devolved administration. In Northern Ireland there is legislation on flag flying, which was recently updated due to the UK’s exit from the EU. …

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Public Bodies

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides Ministers with the power to establish new public authorities to carry out functions currently undertaken by EU-wide bodies. This could result in a range of new regulatory bodies. The classification of public bodies in the United Kingdom in the recent past has been the subject of reform policies set out by central Government, with a focus on reduction of overall numbers and guidance on the justification for the creation of new bodies. Both trends are considered in this briefing. …

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Members of the House of Commons since 1979

Since the 1979 General Election, there have been 2,128 people elected to the House of Commons. Of these, 403 have been women and 1,725 have been men.

This publication lists all Members of the House of Commons starting from the 1979 General Election which took place on the 3 May. It is a new edition of our 2010 publication.…

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Honours: History and reviews

Honours awarded today are mostly part of the Order of the British Empire, which was established in 1917. Almost from the beginning there was controversy about who should receive honours and suggestions of impropriety, particularly in the award of honours for political service. This briefing provides an introduction to the various types of honours. It sets out the recent revival of the award of honours for parliamentary and political service. It also explains how an honour may be removed and summarises reviews of the system.…

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A Fresh Start: the Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan and the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill 2015-16 [Bill 99]

The Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Bill is part of a process to stabilise the political institutions in Northern Ireland. It stems from a package agreed between the UK and Irish Governments and the largest Northern Ireland parties: the Fresh Start agreement. This paper gives a guide to the Bill, and to the agreement.…

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