This Week In Politics has seen Brexit as the main headline once again as Theresa may headed out to Brussels to talk with European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker and Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier. However, the government announced that it wasted millions attempting to privatise NHS staffing and it was reported that the UK is £490 billion poorer. Plus, the government announced it would scrap the 55p benefit helpline charge.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government forces seized Kirkuk from the Kurds, in Mogadishu, Somalia, a lorry bomb killed hundreds of people, Spain have said they will suspend autonomy of Catalonia.

Maltese, anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated and Maduro secured a crucial victory in Venezuela.

UK news

Health minister, Phillip Dunne, told parliament "The Department (DoH) spent approximately £2.8million on external advisers' costs during the sale process for NHS Professionals until the decision was announced on 7 September that NHS Professionals will remain wholly in public ownership." He continued to say that "none of the offers received" reflected the "growing potential and improved performance". The U-turn comes after widespread anger from medical professionals and health unions. This waste of money also succeeds the governments decision to not reverse the public sector pay cap.

The Telegraph and the Mirror have both reported that the UK is £490 billion poorer than previously estimated. This refers to two figures: the flow of foreign direct investment, and the net International Investment Position, which has collapsed from a surplus of £469bn to a net deficit of £22bn. These missing figures come from an update published by the ONS on 29th September.

£160 billion comes from the net foreign direct investment, which is down and despite an improvement on summer 2016, it slumped in the second quarter of 2017.

The remaining £330 billion loss can be attributed to the net international investment position, this is the categories of UK resident's ownership of foreign assets and foreign resident's ownership of UK assets combined.

Originally the ONS predicted a surplus in 2016, however, this was revised to a deficit in September. Whilst it sounds gloomy, it is in fact normal for the UK to run on a deficit, but the statistics inform us more about the devaluation of the pound. The main reason why the ONS downgraded the figures drastically was because international investors hold more UK shares than previously realised, in other words this was an accounting error but with the Brexit process this does increase concern for the UK.

Theresa May this week headed out to Brussels to talk with Jean Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier to try and move the Brexit process along, however there was little success. The government also said they would scrap the 55p per minute benefit helpline charge after significant opposition from politicians and campaigners from all parties.

World news

Iraqi government forces seized the oil-rich city of Kirkuk from the Kurds, their allies in the fight against Daesh. The attack happened following a referendum held last month in which Kurds voted to secede from Iraq. Without Kirkuk's oil, an independent Kurdistan would be broke. A lorry bomb attack, blamed on the jihadist group al-Shabab, exploded in the centre of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, killing at least 300 people.

Spain said it would begin the process of suspending Catalonia's autonomy, deepening the constitutional crisis. Daphne Caruana Galizia, an anti-corruption blogger, was assassinated with a car bomb near her home in Malta. She had accused senior politicians of receiving kickbacks through offshore companies that were revealed in the Panama Papers.

President Nicolás Maduro's United Socialist Party claimed a crucial victory by gaining 18 out of 23 governors' elections in Venezuela, with a turnout of 61%, the largest for governors' elections for over a decade. Some winning opposition candidates accepted the results, but a large proportion of the far-right opposition called for protests the results, similar to the violent protests instigated by the opposition previously that killed 100 people.