issue brief


Cloning is one of the most controversial areas of scientific research of recent times. The term 'cloning' means the asexual reproduction of identical copies of an original, and it is human cloning (and to a lesser extent animal cloning) for reproductive purposes that causes considerable public disquiet.Read More

Common agricultural policy

The key objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP), as enshrined in the EU treaties, are to: Increase agricultural productivity thus to ensure a fair standard of living for agricultural producers; stabilise markets; assure availability of supplies; ensure reasonable prices to consumers. Read More

Common Fisheries Policy

The European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was adopted in 1983, with the objective of ensuring that declining fish stocks are exploited responsibly - protecting the environment and the interests of the fishing industry and consumers.Read More

Common Foreign and Security Policy

The Maastricht Treaty of 1993 allows the EU to develop a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), covering all areas of foreign and security policy.Read More

Congestion charge

The congestion charge is a daily levy imposed on drivers choosing to drive within central London. It applies between 07:00 and 18:00 on Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.Read More

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment refers to the use of physical punishment to correct behaviour. The term derives from the Latin corpus, meaning body.Read More

Council Tax – Structure

Local government is financed by a combination of centrally-administered funding and locally-administered charges and taxes - the most significant of which is council tax.Read More


The Cross London Rail Links (Crossrail) project is a joint venture company established by Transport for London and the Strategic Rail Authority. Its task is to promote and develop two new rail routes through London.Read More

Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is an independent judicial agency responsible for the preparation and presentation of criminal prosecutions in the UK.Read More


Cycling describes not only riding bicycles for recreation, but also the professional sport.Read More

Debt and Debt Relief in the Developing World

All countries have some kind of national debt, as a consequence of normal economic activity. Sometimes, countries accumulate unmanageable levels of debt due to particular economic crises.Read More

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) develops in a deep vein of the legs.Read More

Disability Benefits and Spending

People with physical and mental disabilities are sometimes significantly hampered in fully participating in all aspects of society because of social and physical barriers to the full enjoyment of their rights.Read More

Disability Discrimination

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 described a disabled person as someone with "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities", which has or can be expected to last for more than 12 months.Read More


Drugs include a broad range of substances ranging from prescription medicines, to illegal street drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, to readily available products such as tobacco and alcohol.Read More

Education leaving age

In the UK, the government determines the duration of compulsory education, with the minimum school leaving age set down in an Act of parliament. Read More

Elections and voting

How to vote Are you eligible? In order to vote in a UK general election you must be: on the electoral register 18 years of age or older on polling day a British, Commonwealth or Irish citizen resident in the UK not subject to a disqualification You will be disqualified from voting if: you are...Read More

Electoral Reform and Voting Systems

Proportional Representation (PR) is the principle behind a number of electoral systems, all of which attempt to ensure that the outcome of the election reflects the proportion of support gained by each competing group.Read More

Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates

What are Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates? British Embassies and High Commissions together comprise the UK’s “diplomatic missions” overseas. The role of a UK diplomatic mission is to function as the channel of communication between the British government and that of the host country, to act as the official representative of the UK (in general,...Read More