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Brexit: Government defeat in Lords over terms of meaningful vote
Peers have defeated the government in voting to give Parliament a potentially decisive say over Brexit. An amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill giving MPs the power to stop the UK from leaving without a deal, or to make Theresa May return to negotiations, was approved by 335 votes to 244. Its supporters said Parliament, not ministers, must “determine the future of the country”. The government will now try to persuade MPs to strike out the change.
BP first quarter profits soar
BP has reported a $2.6bn profit for the first quarter, up from $1.5bn in the same period last year – that’s a staggering 71% rise. The group said it was its best quarterly result for three years. Group chief executive Bob Dudley says it’s “another strong set of results”. “Moving through 2018 we’re determined to keep delivering our operational targets and maintaining capital discipline while growing cash flow and returns,” he adds.
Roadwork ban to fight plague of potholes
Thousands of roadworks a year will be shifted on to pavements under government plans to cut congestion and prevent roads from being plagued by potholes, The Times has learnt. Utility companies will be ordered to put new pipes and cables under pavements or grass verges as a default position before seeking to dig up roads. Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said that the change was needed because potholes were far more likely to appear on sections of roads that had been recently dug up. Any move to lay cables under pavements will be opposed by parents’ groups and disability campaigners, who are likely to criticise reduced mobility by the roadside.
UK leisure industry is having a tough ride as consumers focus on essentials
Consumers are spending less on leisure activities, including going to the pub, eating out, going to the cinema and ordering takeaways, as they focus more of their budgets on essentials, according to Deloitte. In the first quarter of this year, consumers cut their spending in seven out of eleven leisure categories that the accounting group monitors, with culture and entertainment spending falling the most— by four percentage points year-on-year. The survey is likely to be of concern to the casual eating sector, which is suffering from rising labour costs, business rates, rent and food inflation. Several restaurant chains, such as Byron, Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian have had to go through painful restructurings.
Car insurance premiums fall for first time in two years
The average price paid for motor insurance has recorded its first quarterly fall in two years, according to insurers. Despite the drop, average costs during the first quarter of 2018 were the highest that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has ever seen at this time of year. The ABI’s latest Motor Insurance Premium Tracker found the average price paid for private comprehensive motor insurance was £478, down £13 on the final quarter of 2017, as well as being the first quarterly fall in premiums in two years. The index, which started in 2012, measures prices consumers pay for their motor insurance, rather than quotes. The ABI said £478 is the highest average premium it has recorded for the first quarter of any year.
Driver WARNING – How wearing sunglasses while driving could land you £2,500 fine
MOTORISTS are being warned about the type of sunglasses they are wearing while behind the wheel of their car on UK roads, as certain types are illegal and could carry hefty fines.UK drivers are being warned about the type of sunglasses they are wearing while on the roads. The weather is improving in the UK, enjoying a mini-heatwave last week, as the summer approaches. Sunglasses will almost become a staple for drivers in Britain to reduce the glare of the sun, but they could also land you in trouble. In fact, drivers could land a fine of up to £2,500. Rule 237 of the Highway Code dictates that “if you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop.”
Volkswagen reveals new diesel engines that it claims will pass all toxic tests
VOLKSWAGEN has revealed its new diesel engine that it hopes will finally banish the Dieselgate memory. The German giant claims battery tech fitted on the new 2.0-litre diesel will help it beat the EU’s tough 2020 pollution targets. The announcement comes almost three years since VW was caught fitting “defeat devices” to diesels in a bid to beat lab tests. As part of its recovery – which also includes a new all-electric family of cars – Volkswagen has released details of the new diesel – codenamed EA288 Evo. The engine will start with the help of a starter generator and team up with a lithium-ion battery. The manufacturer claims this will slash CO2 emissions by up to 10g/km and increase fuel economy in all types of driving to meet the new tests.