issue brief

Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 - form a blueprint agreed to in September 2000.Read More

Millennium Dome

The Millennium Dome was the centrepiece of British celebrations for the dawning of the year 2000.Read More


MMR is a combined vaccine for the three potentially highly harmful childhood diseases - measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as German measles).Read More

Mobile Phone Base Stations/Masts

To send or receive calls, a handset must be within range of a mobile phone base station (sometimes referred to as a mast). A base station is a fixed radio receiver/transmitter with antennas mounted either on free-standing masts or on buildings.Read More

Mobile Phones – health concerns

Mobile phone use in the UK has risen rapidly over the past two decades, with the number of mobile connections currently standing at in excess of 81 million (2012).Read More

Mobile Phones – use while driving

As from 1 December 2003 it has been a specific offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device when driving. Read More


Monarchy is rule by an individual who is royal, and the system is usually hereditary. The term monarchy derives from the Greek, monos arkhein, meaning 'one ruler'.Read More

Monetary Policy Committee

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is a specialised economic advisory panel responsible for setting the short-term base interest rate.Read More

MPs’ Pay and Expenses

Responsibility for the regulation and administration of MPs' pay and expenses was transferred to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) following the 2010 General Election. In 2011, IPSA was also made responsible for determining MPs' pay and pensions.Read More

National Air Traffic Services

Air traffic control (ATC) is the management of aviation traffic. The principal aim of ATC is to ensure the safety of air transport - both civil and military. ATC in the UK is provided by National Air Traffic Services (NATS), a commercial enterprise that charges airlines fees for providing its services.Read More

National Blood Service

The National Blood Service is an NHS body responsible for the collection and distribution of blood and blood components in England and North Wales.Read More

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is an agency of the National Health Service charged with promoting clinical excellence in NHS service providers in England and Wales, by developing guidance and recommendations on the effectiveness of treatments and medical procedures.Read More

National Insurance

National Insurance is a social insurance scheme, under which people become eligible for particular social security benefits - known as "contributory benefits" - through a history of contributions to the scheme made by themselves and by their employers.Read More

National Minimum Wage

The national minimum wage (NMW) is the hourly rate below which adult workers in most sectors of the British economy must not be paid. Read More

National Parks

Some areas of particularly significant and unspoiled natural heritage have been designated as National Parks to preserve their character and ecosystems for public enjoyment.Read More


The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a multilateral military and political alliance designed to secure the peace and security of its member states.Read More

Network Rail

Network Rail (NR) was set up in 2002 to replace Railtrack as the body responsible for Britain's rail network. Read More

NHS (National Health Service)

What is the NHS? The National Health Service is the UK's publicly funded healthcare system. Founded on the principle that good healthcare should be available equally to rich and poor alike, the NHS provides treatment 'free at the point of use' for all UK residents. Although funded centrally from taxation, the devolved administrations of Scotland,...Read More

NHS Direct

NHS Direct is a nurse-led telephone information service, which provides basic healthcare advice to callers and directs those with more serious complaints to the appropriate part of the wider NHS. It is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is one of the largest telemedicine services in the world.Read More