Yesterday foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was an "absolute priority" for the government to leave the EU by 23rd of May to avoid having to take part in European elections. Hunt believes the public would find it "hugely disappointing" to be asked to send MEPs to Brussels.
The foreign secretary also said if it could be a disaster for the Tories in terms of polling. Local Tory activists are reported to have signalled they will not campaign and regard the polls as a "distraction". In order to avoid the need for elections, legislation implementing the Brexit withdrawal deal would have to be passed by Parliament by 22 May. Last week, the EU agreed a new Brexit deadline of the 31st October.
09:30 – GBP: Average Earnings index increase to 3.5%