5 Things You Need To Know (22/8/17)
Welcome to our daily update, where we summarise the key talking points from the last 24 hours.
1. Trump U-turn on Afghanistan
US President Donald Trump has committed the US army to fighting in Afghanistan, claiming that failure to do so would lead to terrorists filling the void. US involvement in Afghanistan has been ongoing since 2001, making it the longest war the US has ever been engaged in.
Trump campaigned heavily with an “American first” isolationist message during his Presidential campaign. He has admitted that he has now changed his mind, stating “My original instinct was to pull out, but decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office”.
2. July budget surplus
The government achieved a budget surplus in July for the first time since 2002. The surplus total was £0.2 billion, which compares favourably to last year’s £0.3 billion deficit.
3. Osborne wants HS3 for the North
George Osborne has called for the government to invest in a High Speed Rail 3 for the north of England.
The former Chancellor believes a HS3 should connect between Hull and Liverpool, in addition to connecting with the northern part of the High Speed Rail 2 line which is set for construction in 2019.
4. UK airports warning for Brexit
Leader in the UK aviation industry, including Heathrow and Manchester Airports, have urged the UK and EU to target October 2018 as the deadline for an interim aviation arrangement.
Uncertainty over a potential deal is risking a slump in British air travel, Sky News reports.
In a potential sign of changing spending habits, Lidl has overtaken Waitrose to become the UK’s seventh largest supermarket. The retailer enjoyed sales increase of 18.9% in the twelve weeks to August 13, giving it a 5.2% market share.