Tag Archives: EU

Brexit – sources of information

Please note: a regularly updated version of this posting is now on the main website at http://www.rba.co.uk/sources/brexit.htm 

Those of us living and working in the UK are constantly bombarded with news and information of varying quality on Brexit. I regularly run workshops on sources of business information and,  inevitably, these now include a section on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, commonly referred to as Brexit. One of the exercises I give those attending the workshop is to draw up their own individual list of resources that they are likely to use for keeping up to date, or as starting points for researching the topic. We then produce a combined list for the whole group.  I have listed below a selection of those resources, concentrating on the more general sources rather than industry specific sites that were mentioned in some of the sessions.  It is by no means a comprehensive list and this blog posting will not be updated,  but I have created a separate web page Brexit – UK withdrawal from the EU, which will be added to and amended periodically.

EU referendum results

Electoral Commission EU referendum results
The Electoral Commission is the independent body that oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. This page shows the voting totals and results by region and by area within that region. You can download the results data in full as a CSV file. There are also links to results visualisations, information on grants to designated lead campaigners, the Electoral Commissions assessment of the EU referendum question and their recommended amendment, and the voting guides.

EU Referendum Results – BBC News
The BBC referendum results page and linked pages presents the same information as the Electoral Commission but in a slightly different way. There are links to the BBC news stories and videos on and around the date of the referendum.

Results of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 – Wikipedia 
Another page showing the voting results in a variety of ways but in addition this one has links at the end to external sources reporting on the run up to the referendum and local press articles some of which show a breakdown of the results by ward.


Brexit: research and analysis – UK Parliament
“Research and analysis from Parliament’s libraries and committees on how leaving the EU will affect different policy areas in the UK”.
Brexit email alerts on updates and new content are available.

Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU – BBC News
Background information on the what has happened so far, what is happening now, what has been agreed and what needs to be agreed. There is also a long list of FAQs (frequently asked questions), many of which cannot be answered yet but some possibilities are discussed.

The Guardian – Weekly Brexit Briefing
A very useful summary and update from The Guardian newspaper on what has been happening over the past week. You can sign up to receive the briefing by weekly email and there is also a weekly Brexit Means podcast.

General News Search

If you are interested in seeing articles that represent a wider range of viewpoints and opinions, run a search on Brexit in Google News and Bing News. As well as the national and regional UK papers, these will also pick up stories appearing in the press in other countries.


European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 – UK Parliament
Use this page to monitor the progress of the Bill through Parliament and see related documents such as:

  • Full text of the Bill as introduced and further versions of the Bill as it is reprinted to incorporate amendments (proposals for change) made during its passage through Parliament.
  • Tracked changes versions of the Bill
  • Explanatory Notes
  • Full list of amendment papers relating to the Bill.
  • Public Bill Committee and report stage proceedings
  • House of Commons Library and House of Lords Library briefing papers
  • Will write letters (Questions put to government Ministers during debates on Bills may be answered by the Minister saying ‘I will write to the Hon Member’. “Will write” replies are not published in Hansard but are placed in the Library of the House concerned and published on the Parliamentary website.)

Alerts on changes to the page, stage reached by the Bill, and new documents are available by email and RSS.

Blog | UK Constitutional Law Association
Affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law. The UKCLA blog provides analysis and comment on matters of constitutional law in the UK. Not suprisingly, many of the current blog postings cover some aspect of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Jack of Kent blog
“News and comment on law and policy, from a liberal and critical perspective”. Written by David Allen Green who is a legal commentator at FT.com and a former legal correspondent of the New Statesman. Currently posting mainly about Brexit.

Public Law for Everyone – Professor Mark Elliott
Another source of comment and analysis on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. Written by Mark Elliott, Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution. The views expressed on this blog are in a purely personal capacity.

Business information – selected slides from June 2016 workshops

Some of the slides that I used as part of my June 2016 workshops on Business Information are now available on both SlideShare and authorSTREAM. The workshop run in the last week of June inevitably included a session on the EU referendum and the Brexit result. A few of those extra slides are included in this edited version of the presentation.

Business Information - key web resources

Debunking Euromyths

Those of us living in the UK have become accustomed to sensational headlines in the British press warning us that the European Union (EU) is about to ban British cucumbers, sausages, cheese, church bells, street acrobats [insert food or activity of your choice]. Tracking down the relevant EU legislation to find out whether or not there is any truth in the stories is a nightmare, and they are not the easiest of documents to read and understand when you do find them. But help is at hand from an EU blog called “European Commission in the UK – Euromyths and Letters to the Editor” at http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/.

The blog covers scare stories that have appeared in the UK press, some of which go back to 1992, and explains what the situation really is and the relevant legislation.

Euromyths A-Z

There is a neat A-Z index at   http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/ so you can quickly check, for example, if the EU is about to ban bagpipes:

As for banning bagpipes, Scots can rest assured that their favourite musical instrument is not under threat from EU proposals on noise pollution … they are designed primarily for those who work with loud machinery for a sustained period – more than 87 decibels for eight hours in a row. The law … will apply only to workers rather than audiences.  If, in the highly unlikely event a bagpipe player is hired to play continuously for eight hours, and the noise created averaged more than 87 decibels, the employer would be obliged to carry out a risk assessment to see where changes can be made – tinkering with the acoustics in a hall to reduce echoes, for example. If that fails, personal protection such as earmuffs will need to be considered, but only as a last resort. Banning musical instruments is not an option.

The blog is just one of many on the Europa website. A list can be found at Blogs of the European Commission.

EU launches public beta of its open data portal

The EU has launched a public beta of its new open data portal at http://open-data.europa.eu/open-data/. Open data is information that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone. The EU portal covers all the information that public bodies in the European Union produce, collect or pay for. At present it has 5,811 datasets of which 5,634 come from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

You can search the datasets by keyword and refine your results using the keywords and publishers listed on the right of the screen.

Alternatively there are options for browsing the datasets using tags and keywords. This may be easier if you are not sure of what terms to use.

Using the tags also seems to be more reliable. A search on coal production gave me one relevant dataset but the rest of the results only had production as a keyword. I was seeing sets for carrot production, production of butter, sunflower production etc. I assume that ‘coal’ had been dropped because there were so few results containing both terms. Searching on just coal reduced the number of results from around 5000 to 7, one of which was highly relevant (Primary production of coal and lignite). The other 6 covered energy production in general including coal. Browsing and narrowing down the sets using the tags does seem to be the best way of navigating the data at the moment.

Once you have identified a relevant dataset additional information such as time span and date last modified are provided together with links for downloading the data.

It’s then up to you to find a way of viewing and analysing the data!