Members of Parliament handle a high volume of immigration, nationality and asylum enquiries from constituents.
The Commons Library has produced a briefing which provides a brief overview of the UK’s immigration and asylum system and basic British nationality law.
It also outlines the legal restrictions on giving immigration advice, gives some suggestions on handling constituents’ enquiries, refers to some sources of information that may be helpful for straightforward questions, and highlights training courses available to Members’ staff.
Parliament has been recalled on Wednesday 18 August 2021 to debate the situation in Afghanistan.
You can find relevant Commons Library research and analysis on the Commons Library website here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/type/research-briefing/
Please note that the situation in Afghanistan is fast moving and briefings should be read as correct at the time of publication.
House of Commons Library Briefing
The Commons Library has produced a briefing on gift vouchers and insolvency, relating to what happens to consumers’ gift vouchers and other prepayments when a retailer becomes insolvent.
You can read the summary and download the full briefing here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn06540/
This briefing paper explains the status of directly-elected mayors in English and Welsh local government, and the routes to establishing them, including the use of local referendums. It also includes an up-to-date list of elected mayors and statistics on previous referendums.
Find the briefing here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn05000/
The Commons Library has published a new research briefing looking at online scams. In addition to looking at the scale of the problem, it considers the different types of scams, who are the targeted victims, and what is being done to combat them.
You can find it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9214/
The Commons Library has published a new research briefing looking at the results of the local elections that took place in England on 6 May 2021.
You can find it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9228/
The number of couples choosing to live together (cohabit) without getting married or entering a civil partnership, in what is often called “a common law marriage”, increased by 137% between 1996 and 2020.
Although cohabitating couples do have legal protection in several areas, such as under the law relating to domestic abuse, cohabitation gives no general legal status to a couple, unlike marriage and civil partnership from which many legal rights and responsibilities flow. Many people are unaware this is the case.
This briefing provides information about the number of cohabiting couples, how the law applies to them, the Law Commission’s proposals for reform, and other calls for reform.
You can find the briefing here: “Common law marriage” and cohabitation
What is the Privy Council?
The Privy Council is an advisory body to the Monarch; its members are known as Privy Counsellors. It is one of the oldest parts of the UK’s constitutional arrangements, with its origins dating back to at least the thirteenth century.
Find out more in this Commons Library Research Briefing which looks at the role and powers of the Privy Council: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7460/
This House of Commons Library Research Briefing considers the debate about who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. It covers progress in implementing the Government decision to fund remediation work for affected blocks with ACM cladding in the social and private sectors. In March 2020, a £1 billion Building Safety Fund was announced to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise blocks in the social and private sectors. Ongoing issues include the adequacy of the funding available and how historic defects, such as a lack of fire stopping measures, will be paid for.
Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?