The House of Commons Library prepares a briefing in hard copy and/or online for most non-legislative debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall other than half-hour debates. Debate Packs are produced after the announcement of parliamentary business. They are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issue being debated and identify relevant briefings and useful documents, including press and parliamentary material. More detailed briefing can be prepared for Members on request to the Library.
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
After nearly a decade of work on a programme to replace the UK's nuclear deterrent from the early 2030s, a decision on taking that programme forward will be made shortly. The Government will seek the approval of Parliament for this decision on 18 July 2016. But what are the arguments for and against doing so? How much will it cost? And are there any other alternatives? This paper updates and replaces all previous House of Commons Library briefing papers on this subject dating back to 2006. More notably it replaces previous versions of this paper published in October 2015, January 2016, March 2016 and June 2016. It is also part of a wider Library briefing series on nuclear weapons.
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks ahead to the NATO Summit in Warsaw on 8-9th July 2016. Topping the agenda is NATO's response to Russia, instability in the Middle East and North Africa, and defence spending.
Nuclear convoys transport defence nuclear material, including nuclear warheads and nuclear fuel, around the United Kingdom. This briefing explains what the convoys are and why some MPs are calling for them to be stopped. It is part of a wider Library briefing series on nuclear weapons.
In an attempt to reduce the dangers posed by existing nuclear arsenals and prevent the further proliferation of nuclear weapons technology, a complex international nuclear arms control architecture has evolved. This paper is intended as an introduction of each of these arms control regimes. It is also part of a Library briefing series on nuclear weapons.
This is a selection of relevant material for the Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday 8 June 2016, between 9:30am and 11:00am. The Member who secured the debate is Margaret Ferrier MP (Scottish National Party, Rutherglen and Hamilton West).
Remotely Piloted or Unmanned Aircraft, more commonly known as drones, have been described as the most contentious conventional weapons system currently in use. This note provides an overview of their use by the UK armed forces.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (the LDP) won a decisive victory in snap elections held in December 2014. One of the reasons for holding early elections was Abe’s desire to amend Japan’s ‘peace Constitution’ so that in future it expressly permits the country’s armed forces to come to the aid of allies under attack. This is known in Japan as the right of ‘collective self-defence’. In mid- 2014 the Japanese Cabinet approved interpreting the Constitution in this way. Abe is now seeking to give this new interpretation legal and constitutional underpinning. Important as it is, amending Article 9 of the Constitution is just one part of Abe’s plans on the defence and security front. Japan is now looking to enhance its defence capabilities so that it can play a greater role in promoting international “peace, stability and prosperity”. It will also increase its ability to respond effectively to any attack on the Senkaku Islands (as Japan calls them) in the East China Sea.