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The Pagoda Perspective 18.09.17

18th September 2017

INDEPENDENCE

  • A new poll for Survation indicates support for independence has climbed 3 points to 46 per cent since June. The poll also suggested support for the SNP was down, with a pro-independence majority at Holyrood set to disappear at the next election in 2021.
  • In a statement published on the Scottish Government website, Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary has said the people of Catalonia should determine its future.

 SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADERSHIP

  • Richard Leonard has formally launched his campaign for the Scottish Labour Leadership with a claim that people are “hungry for change”. Unite has indicated that the union will back Leonard.
  • Speaking at his own campaign launch, Labour leadership candidate Anas Sarwar implied that voting for his rival would mean Labour failing to win the next Holyrood election.

 SNP

  • Angus Robertson is expected to remain as deputy leader of the SNP despite losing his Westminster seat in the General Election.

BREXIT

  • The Scottish Conservatives have said they want to strike a deal with Scottish ministers over their concerns with the current EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
  • The SNP could back a second referendum on whether or not the UK remains in the EU, Scotland’s Brexit minister Michael Russell has suggested.
  • A new Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times suggests that support among Scots for staying in the EU has increased slightly to 65%.

 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

  • Architectural experts have warned MSPs will have to approve a large refit bill or face moving to a new building as it is predicted the Scottish Parliament building, opened in 2004, could reach the end of its “useful life” by 2060.

 TOURISM

  • Opposition parties have accused Scottish Ministers of missing out on the Queensferry Crossing tourist boom by failing to establish a Forth Bridges visitor centre in time for its opening.

 TRANSPORT

  • The launch of ScotRail’s new fleet of electric trains on the Edinburgh-Glasgow mainline has been delayed for a third time. The train operator confirmed the new Class 385 trains will not be ready until “early next year” – making them more than a year late.
  • Scotrail will trial the first superfast Wi-Fi on a British Train, claiming it will be the fastest train Wi-Fi in the world.

 ECONOMY

  • Former UK Government minister Andrew Dunlop has been commissioned to chair a new Scottish business taskforce that will help advise the UK Government on economic and industrial policy.

 EDUCATION

  • The number of Scots enrolling at Edinburgh University has fallen alongside a 20% rise in those coming from elsewhere in the UK. The number of international students from countries outside of the EU increased 17%
  • According to the Sunday Times, Chancellor Philip Hammond is considering capping the cost of university degrees at less than £7,500 ahead of his autumn budget.

 COMING UP

  • Jackson Carlaw and Adam Tomkins are to meet with Michael Russell this week to discuss the Scottish Government’s proposed changes to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.