As 29 March draws closer, another week of bewildering Brexit discussions has ended with Theresa May promising MPs a meaningful vote on her deal by 12 March. Meanwhile Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard MSP is insisting that the option of remaining in the EU must be on the ballot paper for any further Brexit referendum. And adding to the uncertainty, a report on the impact of a no-deal Brexit has just been published – the findings of which should come with a health warning!
As the words of Noel Edmonds – “deal or no-deal” – come to mind, Scotland’s home grown billionaire Sir Tom Hunter accuses politicians of letting down the country, saying voters were lied to by the ‘Leave’ campaign during the 2016 referendum, and he too joins calls for a second referendum to be held.
In other non-Brexit news this week, MSPs will debate legislation which allows for questions about gender identity to be included in the 2021 census, although in usual Government fashion, there has been much disagreement over what people should be asked. You can read the full report from the Culture committee here. And in another potentially significant move, MSPs also agreed the general principles of the Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill, which, if passed, will shift Scotland to a soft ‘opt-out’ for organ donation.
In client news, Fulton MacGregor, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, visited Kier Construction Scotland’s refurbished HQ in Stepps, to hear about the work they are carrying out across Scotland and NE England. Mr MacGregor said: “It was good to hear about the diverse range of projects that Kier is carrying out and their commitment to providing local jobs for local people to help boost the local economy.”
As deputy convener of the Children & Young People’s Cross Party Group in Holyrood, Mr MacGregor said he was equally keen to hear about the initiatives Kier have in place to inform young people about the construction industry, adding: “I was impressed by their ‘Shaping Your World’ initiative where they have pledged 1% of their workforce to engage with schools and colleges to highlight the vast career opportunities that exist within this dynamic industry.”
Yesterday it was announced that client Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) will receive almost £11 million of core funding to support the sector to innovate, modernise and grow. The investment from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will allow CSIC to build on the foundations of a highly successful first five years and support its Phase 2 mission to mainstream innovation in construction, leading to improved productivity and growth within the sector. It is expected that over the next five years, the funding will support the construction sector to deliver £998m of additional gross turnover, create 1,847 new jobs and retain 4,721 existing jobs.
And finally it is less than three weeks until Scotland Build an event dedicated to opportunities in building, construction, architecture and design across Scotland. As the communications partner for the event, Perceptive running a range of free training sessions, including How construction companies can use political influence to achieve their goals, Protecting reputations and handling crises well in the risky business of construction and Top tips on how to use LinkedIn to build profile in construction. You can find the full list of sessions and times here, but feel free to attend one of the free training events led by the Perceptive team.
If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie McLauchlan on 07734 932578 or firstname.lastname@example.org