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The Pagoda Perspective 30.01.2017

30th January 2017

BREXIT AND INDEPENDENCE

  • A new Panelbase survey, conducted for the Sunday Times, has found 51 per cent of Scots do not support a second referendum in the near future. The poll also reveals that since the Brexit referendum in June, support for IndyRef2 has fallen from 43 to 27 per cent.
  • Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has said: “There are absolutely no circumstances in which Scottish Labour will support another referendum.”
  • Professor John Curtice will publish a report this week showing that voting for the Greens by SNP supporters in 2016 increased the number of pro-independence MSPs rather than boosting Unionist numbers at Holyrood
  •  Nicola Sturgeon has warned that time is running out for the prime minister to “heed the voice of Scotland” as she and Mrs May prepared to attend a Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) meeting today between the UK government and devolved administrations

SNP BUDGET

  • Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie, has said the prospect of a deal to allow the draft budget to pass is “not looking good”.
  • Meanwhile, the Scottish Greens appear to be “hopeful” of striking a deal to allow the SNP’s draft budget to pass

HEALTH

  • Professor Graham Watt, who co-ordinates GPs working in Scotland’s most deprived areas claims Scotlands poorest families are suffering from the Scottish Government’s failure to invest in health policy, highlighting an “astonishing” lack of detail in Scottish Government policy when it comes to tackling the problem.

TOURISM

  • The prospect of space tourism launching from Scotland has been delayed by Brexit, with the UK Government yet to introduce the Modern Transport Bill.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • The Trump administration is reportedly exploring options to allow foreign visitor’s social media and mobile data to be screened at the US border.

ECONOMY

  • The £315million Inverness City Regional Deal is to be formally signed off later today.
  • A think tank, Centre for Cities, has highlighted the EU is the main export market for most UK cities. It concludes Britain will have to dramatically increase trade with other international markets to compensate.
  • Opposition parties have urged the Scottish government to drop plans to scrap the board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), claiming it would be the “death knell” for the organisation as it stands, and evidence of an SNP “obsession with centralisation”.

RENEWABLES

  • Cumnock is to become Scotland’s ‘Green Town’. The proposals allow the Ayrshire mining community to become a carbon neutral town, operating its own hi-tech renewable energy system.

TRANSPORT

  • Glasgow Subway is to allow passengers to use smartphones to pass through ticket barriers later this year, a first for Scottish transport.
  • The final section of the new Queensferry Crossing is ready to be lifted into place. The £1.35 billion project is 94 per cent complete and is expected to open in May.
  • Scottish taxpayers face a £166million bill to cover the costs of altering the historic Adrossan link ferry to Arran.

COMING UP

  • Protests are to continue against President Trump’s upcoming State visit. A petition to stop such a visit has now gathered more than one million signatures and will now be addressed in parliament by foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, later today.