issue brief

EU Budget – British contributions

The UK has contributed to the budget of the EU ever since its accession to the union in 1973. Read More

EU budget fraud

EU budget fraud has historically taken a wide range of forms, from Croatian farmers seeking payments for climatically impossible sugar cane cultivation to the channelling of funds for immigration projects to what some have labelled Palestinian terrorist groups.Read More

EU Enlargement

What is EU enlargement? European Union (EU) enlargement describes the process of admitting new member states to join the EU. Since ‘the six’ (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) signed the Treaty of Paris in 1951, creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the EU has successfully enlarged on six occasions: 1973,...Read More

EU Withdrawal

Since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community under the Treaty of Paris in 1951, no member state has ever left the European Union or its predecessor bodies.Read More

Euro and EMU

What is EMU? The principal objective of the European Union, when first constituted as the European Economic Community, was to make war in Europe impossible by developing a common system of law and making the member states’ economies completely interdependent. This has been pursued by the creation of a Single Market and subsequently the establishment...Read More

European single market

The principal objective of the EU, when first constituted as the EEC, was to make war in Europe impossible by developing both a common system of law and making member states' economies completely interdependent.Read More

European Union – guide

The European Union is a supranational and international organisation that brings together 27 member states under a common system of law, established by a series of treaties.Read More

Eurozone financial crisis

The eurozone crisis refers to the on-going financial difficulties within the euro area which were precipitated by the collapse of the global economy in 2008 and exacerbated by the record budget deficits of certain individual member states.Read More


What is Euthanasia? Euthanasia comes from Greek, meaning ‘pleasant death’. It typically refers to the killing of a person for their own (or another) good, usually to end their suffering. While virtually no-one in modern society would condone involuntary euthanasia, ‘mercy killings’ and ‘assisted suicides’, where the person killed consents to his or her fate,...Read More

Exclusion of Pupils

For disruptive or violent pupils, exclusion is a school's most powerful disciplinary tool. It is the most serious punishment available to head teachers to tackle unruly students and may be for a fixed period, a number of fixed periods, or in extreme cases, permanent.Read More

Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands, or 'Islas Malvinas', are an archipelago of small islands located in the South Atlantic Ocean, approximately 300 miles east of the South American mainland (Argentina and Chile).Read More

Fertility Treatment

Fertility treatment is the use of medical intervention techniques to aid the natural process of conception. Read More

Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire Service responds to fires and other emergencies, provides advice about fire safety and enforces fire safety laws, and helps plan and prepare for various emergencies, such as rail crashes.Read More

Firefighters’ Pay

The National Joint Council for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services (NJC) is the body responsible for determining firefighters' pay and conditions.Read More

Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is an extremely contagious viral condition, affecting cloven-hoofed animals, such as sheep, cattle, pigs, goats and deer.Read More

Football Hooliganism

"Hooliganism" is the term used broadly to describe disorderly, aggressive and often violent behaviour perpetrated by spectators at sporting events. In the UK, hooliganism is almost exclusively confined to football.Read More

Former Yugoslavia and the Role of British Forces

British forces have been involved in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia since the mid-1990s through their involvement in multilateral peacekeeping and conflict missions mandated by the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO).Read More

Foundation Hospitals

'Foundation Hospitals' are hospitals that are run by NHS Foundation Trusts - a new type of NHS body introduced by the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003.Read More

Freedom of Information

A commitment to "Freedom of Information" is a political principle which asserts that members of the public have a right to know what the state is doing, and what it knows about them.Read More