Newly published official publications from:
Westminster and the UK Government
Outer space: “On the 21 February 2017, the Government published a Draft Spaceflight Bill to “provide for the creation of a regulatory framework to enable commercial spaceflight activities to be carried out from spaceports in the United Kingdom”.
On 13 December 2015, the Government published a National Space Policy which supports the Government’s new investments in areas such as human spaceflight and microgravity research as space becomes “an increasingly essential part of our daily lives and a huge success story for the UK.””
Commons Library analysis: Bees and neonicotinoids:: “This briefing concentrates on the interaction between bees and a group of insecticides – known as neonicotinoids – which have been in the spotlight after a number of studies yielded evidence (although much of that evidence is contested) of sub-lethal, harmful effects on bees. In July 2015, the UK Government granted an emergency authorisation for the use of restricted neonicotinoids on oil seed rape seeds in four English counties. A similar application for an emergency authorisation for 2016 was rejected and the NFU has submitted a fresh application for 2017..”
Spring Budget 2017: documents: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spring Budget to Parliament on 8 March 2017. This is the Spring Budget in full and supporting documents.”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Scotland’s Exports SB 17-14: “This briefing analyses the Export Statistics Scotland 2015 release from the Scottish Government, providing a breakdown of exports by sector and location. With “internationalisation” being one of the Scottish Government’s four economic policy priorities, this briefing also summarises recent policy developments aimed at increasing the value and volume of Scottish exports.”
Electronic monitoring in Scotland – A Consultation on Proposals for Legislation: “We are seeking views on our proposals for legislation to extend the use of electronic monitoring in Scotland in support of broader community justice policy. These views will help shape how this will be taken work forward.“
Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill SB 17-13: “The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 8 December 2016 by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP. The Bill has been introduced following a recommendation by the Smith Commission to transfer legislative competence over the policing of railways and railway property in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament. The UK Parliament has since passed the Scotland Act 2016 which gives effect to the Commission’s recommendations.
The Bill sets out the framework for devolved railway policing in Scotland and is a necessary first step towards the integration of railway policing into the overall structure of Police Scotland.
This briefing considers the background to and the main provisions within the Bill.”
The European Union
EU Economic Diplomacy Strategy: “The post-World War II order is undergoing profound changes with globalisation and the emergence of new economic powers. The economy has gradually taken over as the main driver of political influence and global now transcend the old national or regional divides. As the EU was emerging as a global economic player, the economic and financial crisis made the need to tap into foreign markets all the greater. The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), incorporating the EU delegations, and the new EU competence for direct foreign investment under the Treaty of Lisbon have given the Union the tools to assume an independent identity in economic diplomacy. As a result, the EU’s business-promotion policy evolved into a much more sophisticated economic diplomacy strategy, handled in a more structured manner by the Commission and the EEAS. The European Parliament must now be involved, beyond its legislative and scrutiny roles, in devising this new strategy. Not only could the EP add to the debate but it can also help the Commission and the EEAS with its long-established tradition of parliamentary diplomacy.”
White paper on the future of Europe: “The White Paper looks at how Europe will change in the next decade, from the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, to doubts about globalisation, security concerns and the rise of populism. It spells out the choice faced by Europe: being swept along by those trends, or embracing them and seizing the new opportunities they bring. Europe’s population and economic weight is falling as other parts of the world grow. By 2060, none of EU Member States will account for even 1% of the world’s population – a compelling reason for sticking together to achieve more. A positive global force, Europe’s prosperity will continue to depend on its openness and strong links with its partners. The White Paper sets out five scenarios, each offering a glimpse into the potential state of the Union by 2025 depending on the choices Europe will make.”
EU-US trade and investment relations: Effects on tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency: “This ex-post impact assessment analyses EU-US trade and investment relations to assess whether and, if so, to what extent these relations have impacted on issues related to tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency. The EU and US economies are highly intertwined, generating together half the world’s gross domestic product and more than 30 % of global trade. Overall, trade and investment relations between the European Union and the United States do not seem to have impacted on US efforts to combat tax evasion, strengthen anti-money laundering legislation, and its implementation, and boost tax transparency. While some progress has been made in the ongoing negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which also aims to establish regulatory cooperation between the EU and the USA on financial services, progress has been below expectations. The United States has set up mechanisms for information exchange with EU Member States, has signed tax treaties with almost all EU Member States, and has developed a robust legal framework to address money laundering and combat terrorism financing. Despite being largely compliant with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, however, challenges remain on questions of beneficial ownership, cross-border exchange of information, privacy issues, and designated non-financial businesses and professions.”
Office for National Statistics
Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2015: “Cigarette smoking among adults including the proportion of people who smoke including demographic breakdowns, changes over time, and e-cigarettes.”
Measuring national well-being in the UK: international comparisons, 2017: “Compares the UK to the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the countries of the European Union (EU) to better understand how it is faring in key areas of well-being.”
Consumer price inflation basket of goods and services: 2017: “The “shopping baskets” of items used in compiling the various measures of consumer price inflation are reviewed each year. Some items are taken out of the baskets and some are brought in to make sure the measures are up to date and representative of consumer spending patterns. In 2017, 16 items have been added to the CPIH basket, 11 items have been removed and 8 have been modified.
This article describes the review process and explains how and why the various items in the consumer price inflation baskets are chosen. The contents of the baskets for 2017 are summarised in Annexes A and B, and the main changes from the 2016 price collection are discussed below. Similar articles have been published in previous years.”
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