Newly published official publications from :
Westminster and the UK Government
Brexit: Article 50 TEU at the CJEU – “Can Article 50 TEU be unilaterally revoked? This briefing paper considers the Advocate General’s opinion and the CJEU’s judgment in the Wightman case, and what implications the CJEU’s judgment has for the United Kingdom.”
The UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement – “This briefing looks in detail at the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and UK and finalised on 14 November. It was endorsed by EU Member State leaders at a special European Council summit on 25 November and the UK Prime Minister has promoted it in the UK Parliament and around the country. But it will be debated at length in Parliament over the coming days before being put to the so-called ‘meaningful vote’ on 11 December.”
Publishing Government Legal Advice – “This House of Lords Library Briefing provides a brief overview of the role of the law officers and the convention on the publication of their legal advice to government in light of recent demands for the Government to publish the legal advice that is has been given regarding Brexit and the withdrawal agreement.”
The European Union
Democracy and Elections – “This survey was commissioned by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers to explore citizens’ opinions and concerns about voting and elections, as well as their satisfaction with various aspects of democracy in the EU. Some first results of the survey regarding the concerns of EU citizens about the use of the Internet and online social networks during election periods were published on 6th November 2018. The full results of this survey are published today (26 November 2018).”
Brexit: The endgame? [What Think Tanks are thinking] – “Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to convince the British House of Commons to back the agreement she has reached with the EU-27 on UK withdrawal from the European Union, in a crucial vote set for 11 December. Although the deal was approved by her Cabinet and all EU leaders, the divorce terms have been criticised by many Members of Parliament, both advocates of a no-deal departure from the Union and those who would like the United Kingdom to remain within th[e] Union or have the closest possible ties with it from outside. In a parallel development, an Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued an opinion that the UK may unilateraly withdraw its notification of intent to leave the EU, although its departure date is currently set for 29 March 2019. The Court is due to issue its ruling on 10 December; in the past, the Court has followed its advocate-generals’ opinions in most cases. This note offers links to reports and commentaries from some major international think-tanks and research institutes on Brexit negotiations and related issues. More reports on the topic can be found in a previous edition of ‘What Think Tanks are thinking’, published in October 2018.”
Europeans’ Perceptions of the Schengen Area – “The Special Eurobarometer survey was commissioned by the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs to assess the awareness, attitudes and opinions of Europeans regarding the Schengen Area. The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed by the EU to its citizens. It entitles every EU citizen to travel, work and live in any EU country without special formalities. The creation of the Schengen Area embodies concretely this freedom by enabling all persons to cross internal borders (meaning borders between countries of the Schengen Area) without being subjected to border checks. The Schengen Area guarantees unrestricted travel within a territory of 26 countries, home to more than 400 million citizens. The survey explores the awareness of the Schengen Area, frequency of travel within the EU, within and outside the Schengen Area, reasons for travel and transport methods, perceptions of ease of travel inside and outside the Schengen Area, attitudes towards the Schengen Area and its main perceived positive aspects, awareness and experience of temporary reintroduced internal border controls, awareness of EU initiatives to secure its external borders, as well as support for more EU involvement in securing external borders, and support for more funding to secure these borders.“
The Scottish Parliament and Government
Ultra-Deep Water Feasibility Study Report – “The Scottish Government appointed Ernst & Young to commence a UK-wide feasibility study to undertake market analysis into the need for an ultra-deep water port in Scotland and the most cost effective location for such a facility.
This study is the first stage of policy development to support the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government commitment of support for an ultra-deep water facility.
A comprehensive cost benefit analysis was undertaken, along with a UK wide location assessment of 40 quaysides, and an evaluation of the onshore decommissioning market, including its associated wider benefits across the UK.
The study will be complemented by additional work currently being undertaken by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK Government.
In support of the Scottish Government’s wider policies for decommissioning, the next step will be to work with stakeholders to further enhance the evidence base by developing a comprehensive business case for an ultra-deep water port facility.”
Pro-Poor or Pro-Rich? The social impact of local government budgets, 2016-17 to 2018-19 – “This briefing assesses the “social impact” of the 2018-19 local government budget by analysing how council savings plans are distributed between “Pro-Poor”, “Neutral” and “Pro-Rich” services. It updates previous briefings with the most recent figures, and provides a three-year analysis of data, as well as setting out case studies. It is the result of a joint project between SPICe, the University of Glasgow and Heriot Watt University, funded by SPICe and the University of Glasgow.”
Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill – “The purpose of the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill is to make answering any questions in the 2021 Census on sexual orientation or gender identity voluntary thereby ensuring that no penalties result from non-response to these questions. This briefing provides background on the Bill, including discussion of the perceived need for, and development of, questions on sexual orientation or gender identity, including trans status/history, to be included in the Census.”
Office for National Statistics
Children’s and young people’s experiences of loneliness: 2018 – “Analysis of children’s and young people’s views, experiences and suggestions to overcome loneliness, using in-depth interviews, the Community Life Survey 2016 to 2017 and Good Childhood Index Survey, 2018.“
Personal well-being in the UK: July 2017 to June 2018 – “Estimates of life satisfaction, feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety at the UK and country level.
The four personal well-being questions are included as measures for the wider Measuring National Well-being (MNW) programme. This programme began in November 2010 with the aim of developing and publishing an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics, which help people understand and monitor well-being. The statistics in this bulletin are displayed on our well-being dashboard, which reports how the UK is doing for the different areas of life that people in the UK said matter most to their well-being.”
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