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Bitesized Blighty: January 11, 2019

Toyosi Adebayo  Follow

  • After the vote was postponed on December 11, 2018, the next Brexit showdown is finally set to take place on Tuesday, 15 January. Next week, MPs finally get their say on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and there is no telling what the outcome will be. This week has been particularly eventful in the parliament. A fraught session in the House of Commons resulted in MPs ruling that Mrs. May must present a Brexit Plan B within three days of her Brexit Plan being defeated. This unprecedented decision by the Commons Speaker and MPs means that the Prime Minister can no longer attempt to run down the clock to the official Brexit date (March 29th). With MPs insisting that May present a Plan B to the House by next Friday, should the Brexit Plan lose in Tuesday’s common’s vote, and Plan B a no-show by Friday 18th, the prospect of an extension to Article 50 is beginning to look inevitable! 
  • Reports by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that UK labour productivity fell in a weak third quarter, in 2018. The figures by the ONS however showed a growth in productivity in the private sector, compared to that of the public sector and charitable sector. Economists commented that this relapse reinforces concerns over the UK’s overall poor productivity record since the 2008 recession, attributing this to the fact that low wage growth has increased the attractiveness of employment for companies.
  • Andy Murray announced today that he will be retiring from tennis this year, with the possibility that he might even do so this month if his pain worsens. The three-time Grand Slam Champion’s long-standing hip injury is behind his retirement plans as he’s been suffering from worsening hip pains since Wimbledon in 2017, having been consulting with a world-leading surgeon since 2008. Murray’s movement was noticeably labored during the Australian Open preparations, in a match against Novak Djokovic, and he missed most of last season after his hip surgery. The tennis star broke down in tears during an emotional press conference today announcing that he is considering retirement after he plays one last time at Wimbledon in July. Since the announcement, there has been an outpouring of love and tribute to Andy Murray from the world of sports with many echoing their support and encouragement for the champion. 

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