The first minister's commitment to an independent Scotland's membership of the EU, which she paraded as recently as Monday at her Bute House press conference, appeared to have weakened by last night. Sources within her party said the preferred choice might be membership of EFTA, which would give Scotland access to the single market but virtually no say in decisions taken in Brussels. She also seemed to be wobbling on the timing of the second independence referendum with contradictory statements at first asserting the Scottish parliament's right to set the terms – a right that legally does not exist – and then hinting that the referendum might not take place until after Brexit; whereas on Monday she had insisted that it would take place before Brexit. A survey of Scottish social attitudes pointed to growing Euro-scepticism, while a YouGov poll in the Times gave the Union a 57-43 lead, the biggest for two and a half years. A spokesman for the Spanish government, which is opposed to the break-up of the UK, predicted that any Scottish application for EU membership would go to the back of the queue.
A leak of Trump's tax return showed that in 2005 he paid $38m in tax on income of $150m. It was revealed that his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, in his previous incarnation as CEO of the oil company, ExxonMobil, had used a pseudonym ('Wayne Tracker') to send and receive emails on climate change and other matters. A New York judge is overseeing an investigation into whether Exxon misled shareholders about climate change. The French presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, was placed under formal investigation for alleged misuse of public funds in giving his Welsh wife and family fake jobs. The people of The Netherlands go to the polls today in the first test of far-right populism in Europe.
The Commons home affairs committee gave executives of three social media companies a grilling for their failure to take tougher action on hate speech online. Twitter refused to say how many staff it employs to moderate content. A Labour member of the committee accused the companies of commercial prostitution and said he would be ashamed if he earned a living in the way they did. Charlotte Hogg resigned as deputy governor of the Bank of England, a post she had held for 13 days, after the Treasury select committee had damned her for failing to disclose that her brother works for Barclays, which is regulated by the Bank of England, and that she was therefore in breach of a code of conduct that she had helped to draw up. A Conservative MP, Craig Mackinlay, was interviewed under caution by the police over alleged irregularities in his party's spending during the general election campaign in his constituency, Thanet South.
The Office for National Statistics provided a fresh insight into the triumph of hope over experience, reporting a big increase in the number of people aged 65 and over who are getting married. It appears that the main reason for the increase is the number of people aged 65 and over who are getting divorced.