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The Pagoda Perspective 24.04.2017

24th April 2017

BREXIT/INDEPENDENCE/DEVOLUTION

  • A new BMG survey for The Herald newspaper has found that support for Scottish independence has not risen since Theresa May vowed to block a second referendum.
  • New research conducted for Holyrood’s European Committee has highlighted the international precedent for Scotland having its own distinct immigration policy to attract EU migrants and help meet its demographic and labour needs after Brexit.

COUNCIL ELECTIONS

  • Ruth Davidson has launched the Scottish Conservatives’ local election campaign, putting opposition to a second independence referendum at the heart of the campaign. Meanwhile, Labour’s Kezia Dugdale has warned Scots against using the vote as a protest against independence.

GENERAL ELECTION

  • Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn will both speak at the STUC conference in Aviemore today. Sturgeon will say that the General Election is a straight fight between the SNP and the Conservative party.
  • A Panelbase survey, commissioned by the Sunday Times Scotland, estimates that a third of Scottish voters may vote for the Conservatives, an increase of 18 points since the 2015 election. This estimate would give the party, which currently holds one seat, an additional 11 MPs.
  • The SNP has ruled not to endorse Michelle Thomson or Natalie McGarry at the upcoming General Election. The pair were elected as SNP MPs and now sit as independent members.
  • Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has ruled out a coalition deal with either the Conservative or Labour Party.

HOLYROOD

  • The BBC’s Philip Sim has analysed possible outcomes of Holyrood’s Commission on Parliamentary Reform, due to be published in the summer. Proposed reforms include: increasing MSPs, changing working hours; a term limit for MSPs; and increasing the powers of Holyrood’s committees.

TRANSPORT

  • The SNP has put forward ambitious plans for Glasgow’s 120 year-old subway system. Should they win the upcoming council elections, the party has said it will investigate possible extensions to the east and north.
  • The ‘missing link’ of Scotland’s busiest motorway has opened to traffic, a week ahead of schedule. The new section of the M8 between Newhouse and Baillieston now allows commuters to travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow entirely by motorway.

EDUCATION

  • Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West Scotland, has called for consent to be a statutory part of sex education in Scotland’s schools.

ECONOMY

  • Commercial property experts have called for action to tackle a shortage of ‘grade A’ office space in Scottish cities, claiming businesses could be forced to look elsewhere.

ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY

  • A dry dock in Wester Ross will be used for the first time in almost a quarter of a century to build turbines for a 50 megawatt array off the coast of Aberdeen. The development is set to create up to 200 jobs in the area.

WELFARE

  • One in three Scots on low incomes are often forced to skip meals says a new survey conducted by The Poverty Alliance.

COMING UP

  • STV2, a rebranded version of STV’s Glasgow and Edinburgh stations, is to launch The broadcaster will also introduce a new flagship news programme, STV News Tonight, which will air weeknights at 7pm.
  • Kezia Dugdale will address the second day of the STUC Congress.