Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Research and Development on Tackling Infectious Diseases – “This debate pack is prepared for a general debate on research and development on tackling infectious diseases. The debate will be led by Virendra Sharma, Jeremy Lefroy and Stephen Doughty.
In his application to the Backbench Business Committee, Mr Sharma said that the debate would give Members an opportunity to talk about a wide range of issues relating to infectious diseases. These included, ensuring access to new and existing medicines, investing in research and development of new medicines, diagnostics and vaccines, and the Government approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance.”
Tax avoidance: recent developments – “In recent years concerns as to the scale of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes have led to three major initiatives to undermine this market, and encourage a sea change in attitudes, both in the accountancy industry and its customers: the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime (DOTAS); the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR); and the system of follower notices & accelerated payments. Following these initiatives the Government has continued to introduce provisions to tackle both tax avoidance and tax evasion, including measures in the Spring Budget 2017. This note provides an introduction to the issue of tax avoidance, looking in detail at the development of follower notices and accelerated payments, before discussing the current Government’s approach.”
The Post Office – “This briefing paper contains information on the Post Office. This includes information on the 2016 Post Office network consultation and information about the funding and financial performance of the Post Office.
The Post Office was separated from Royal Mail in 2012, and is owned by the UK Government. The Post Office is currently undergoing a major network transformation programme as the company attempts to reform itself and break even financially. This has included reducing central costs, increasing revenues, and modernising branches in the network.“
The European Union
UK withdrawal from the European Union – “Following the United Kingdom’s referendum in June 2016, which delivered a majority vote in favour of the country leaving the European Union, a period of uncertainty has begun for both the UK and the EU. Although the process of withdrawing from the EU is outlined by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a number of issues remain unclear in practice, all the more so since there is no precedent of a Member State withdrawing from the Union. This in-depth analysis considers the legal and procedural issues surrounding UK withdrawal, focusing in particular on the formal exit process under Article 50 TEU and the EU institutions’ preparations for negotiations. It also sets out some possible templates for future EU-UK relations, as well as the details of existing frameworks for cooperation between the EU and third countries.”
The Brexit negotiations An assessment of the legal, political and institutional situation in the UK : in-depth analysis – “Upon request by the AFCO Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned an in-depth analysis on the political and institutional situation in the United Kingdom following the referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The research analyses the post-Brexit political developments in the UK, the various parameters that should be taken into account, by both the UK government and the 27, in view of the Article 50 negotiations and the possible shape of the final deal and the future economic relationship, taking into account the EU obligations and the constraints of Theresa May’s government.”
Brexit negotiations [What Think Tanks are thinking] – “The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has called an early general election for 8 June 2017, arguing that victory for her party would ‘strengthen her hand’ in negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. In March, her government launched the formal procedure for leaving the Union, by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The European Council is expected to adopt guidelines for the negotiations on 29 April. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports published by major international think tanks on the UK’s plans to leave the EU.”
The Scottish Parliament and Government
A Research Strategy for Scottish Education – “The report sets out research priorities in Scottish education, including the promotion of independent research and research infrastructure, sharing evidence on what interventions are most effective, and ensuring effective use of data at all levels of the school system. ”
Good College Governance Consultation – “This consultation exercise takes forward recommendations of the Good Governance Task Group.
The College Good Governance Task Group made a series of recommendations to improve the governance arrangements in Scotland’s Colleges. This consultation will provide individuals and organisations an opportunity to contribute to this process.”
Universal Periodic Review of human rights in the United Kingdom – May 2017 – Scottish Government position statement – “This Scottish Government position statement describes key features of Scotland’s performance against international human rights obligations. It covers the period since the previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted in 2012. The Scottish Government statement contributes to the assessment of the United Kingdom’s overall record on human rights by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The UK Government submitted an official state party report to the UN in February 2017. The state party report, along with other formal documents (including reports prepared by the UN and by civil society organisations), forms the basis of an interactive dialogue to be held in Geneva on 4 May 2017. The UN Human Rights Council will issue recommendations to the UK following the hearing. Both the UK and Scottish governments will respond to the UPR recommendations in due course.“
Office for National Statistics
Personal well-being in the UK: Jan to Dec 2016 – ” “Today’s figures show there are no changes in personal well–being ratings at a UK level. However, average ratings of life satisfaction, feeling things done in life are worthwhile and happiness remain at their highest since we began collecting this data in 2011. There is a different picture at a country level, with self–reported anxiety improving in Northern Ireland but getting slightly worse in England over the past year.
“Whilst it is too early to say why this is, we know from our prior research that factors impacting on people’s well–being include a person’s sense of choice and contentment with their situation, along with health, job status and relationship status.”
Matthew Steel, Office for National Statistics”
International student migration research update: What do international students do after their studies? – “This article updates on our progress towards developing a better understanding on student migration to and from the UK since the November 2016 update.“
International immigration and the labour market, UK: 2016 – “This article and accompanying data provides information on the number and characteristics of migrants in the UK Labour Market in 2016. In particular, it focuses on industry, occupation, hours worked, earnings and skills. The data accompanying the article also provides information at a regional level. This article will underpin further short articles we intend to publish over the next year looking at individual topics in greater depth.”
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