6 Things You Need To Know (31/3/17)
Welcome to our “Things You Need To Know” daily update. Every day we’ll be here for you, summarising the key talking points in as quick of a time as possible.
1. Sturgeon’s Letter To May
Nicola Sturgeon has penned a letter to Theresa May, calling for the UK Prime Minister to start preparing for a second Scottish independence referendum.
Mrs May has already made clear now isn’t the time for such matters, and she is expected to reject any referendum.
2. EU Gives Boost To Theresa May’s Brexit Vision
The leaders of the European Union could agree to hold trade talks before Brexit is complete, but only if there is progress on exit negotiations as the main priority.
Outlining their approach to negotiations, the EU put forth that the UK must settle its bill and agree on rights of EU citizens living in Britain. Only then can negotiations move forwards to trade talks.
European Council President Donald Tusk said, “Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our future relationship.”
3. Review Into MP Employments
The Committee On Standards In Public Life is to investigate whether it is fair for an MP to take a second job. They will be looking at conflict of interest issues.
This follows on from George Osborne taking the role of Editor at the London Evening Standard. In addition to that, he also has other jobs. He still serves as MP for Tatton, Cheshire.
Additional employment is currently allowed within “reasonable limits.”
4. Former Trump Aide Wants Russia Probe Immunity
Mike Flynn has said he will testify at hearings into alleged Russian interference in the US election – but only if he is afforded immunity.
President Trump’s former national security adviser resigned in February, after it emerged he had discussed the issue of sanctions with a Russian ambassador.
The President used his Twitter this morning to support Flynn’s immunity request, saying “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”
5. Economic Growth
The Office Of National Statistics confirmed today that UK GDP officially grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is an upgrade on the original 0.6% estimate. It beats the original forecast of 0.5% growth.
The Office Of National Statistics said the growth can be attributed to “continuation of strong consumer spending and strong output in consumer-focused industries.”
6. House Prices Falling
House prices in Britain are falling month-on-month for the first time since June 2015, Nationwide’s March House Price Index shows.
Nationwide also showed home ownership falling to its lowest level since 1985 (62.9%), with a “particularly marked decline” amongst 25 to 34 year olds.