Commons Library Research Briefing: Directly-elected mayors

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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/

Commons Library Research Briefing: Consumer protection: online scams

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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/

Commons Library Research Briefing – “Common law marriage” and cohabitation

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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

Commons Library Research Briefing – Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

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The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper which provides answers to frequently asked questions about international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

This paper is a compilation of frequently asked questions about international travel from and to England, and how it is affected by current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper addresses the following questions:

  • What is the international travel ban?
  • What are the reasonable excuses for travel?
  • Who is exempt from the international travel ban and travel requirements?
  • What are the penalties for international travel offences?
  • I’m travelling to the UK, what do I need to do?
  • What COVID-19 testing is required after arrival in England?
  • What is the “test to release” scheme?
  • What is hotel quarantine for travel from “red list” countries?
  • Are there any exemptions from Hotel quarantine?
  • What if I cannot afford to pay for Hotel Quarantine?
  • When can I go on holiday?
  • I can’t fly because of lockdown, but my flight wasn’t cancelled, what are my options?

What is the Privy Council?

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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/

The Privy Council

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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/

Parliamentary Constituencies Act receives Royal Assent and becomes law

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The Parliamentary Constituencies Act received Royal Assent on Tuesday 14 December.  This law will ensure that Parliamentary constituencies in the UK are more equal in size and will make elections fairer.

You can read the Government press release here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-law-passed-will-make-voting-in-uk-general-election-fairer

The House of Commons Library has some new research documents on the topic.

The Parliamentary Constituencies Bill 2019-21 – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8921/

Parliamentary boundary reviews: public consultations – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7696/

Constituency boundary reviews and the number of MPs – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn05929/