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The Bank of England has left its main interest rate at 0.25% but says another cut is still a possibility. The decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave rates at their new, historically low, level was no surprise. Last month the Bank halved its bank rate from 0.5% as it tried to ensure the stability of the UK’s banking system in the aftermath of the June Brexit referendum vote. That was the first rate cut since 2009. But the Bank said again that it might cut rates further in the coming months, even though the immediate economic after-shock of the Brexit vote now appears to be weaker than first thought.
BlackRock is among 80 investors that plan to sue Volkswagen for €2bn after accusing the carmaker of failing to disclose its diesel emissions scandal soon enough. Law firm Quinn Emanuel is expected to file a detailed case on behalf of the investors against the German carmaker in its home state of Lower Saxony on Friday. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is the eighth largest holder of VW’s ordinary shares, and other investors involved in the lawsuit include Norway’s oil fund, State Street, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.
Forget the notion that British roads will be full of autonomous cars within the next five years. They won’t. By 2040, however, computers and satellites will have taken over car driving, many motorists won’t have steering wheels, the driving test as we know it will be a thing of the past and the front seat of a car will look more like a business-class seat on an airline with screens for emails or a movie as you put your feet up. These are the findings of the University of Kent-affiliated Centre for Future Studies, which reports that the emergence of cruise control, lane sensors and latterly self-parking cars has misled consumers into thinking that autonomous cars will be with us early in the next decade.
Senior figures in the EU believe that Britain will give up on Brexit if they make negotiations as tough as possible, The Telegraph understands. British officials are fighting to stop Europe adopting a no-compromise position in talks in the hope that the UK will change its mind about leaving the bloc. This belief is fuelling the hardline message on issues like freedom of movement that have emerged from Berlin, Paris and Brussels in recent weeks.
Retail spending boomed in the year to August, reinforcing hopes that enthusiastic shoppers will keep the economy growing. Shopping levels in August were up 6.2pc on the same time last year, as British households spent on average £7.1bn each week. This represents the 40th consecutive month of annual sales growth and indicates that the vote to leave the European union in June has not dented consumer confidence. On a monthly basis, sales dipped 0.2pc between July and August.
Drivers who give cyclists less than a metre and a half of room as they overtake will face prosecution. Motorists who endanger cyclists by getting too close to them will be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention under a new scheme. West Midlands Police have begun proceedings against 38 motorists for what is known as close passing – giving cyclists less than a metre-and-a-half of room. Police officers on bikes equipped with cameras are patrolling busy roads and radioing ahead to patrol cars when they film bad driving, with most offenders being given roadside advice.
A year ago, Volkswagen Group plunged into the worst business crisis in its history after revelations it flouted environmental regulations by rigging millions of diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The allegations cast the company as putting profit before public health, and the fallout was harsh and swift. After days of turmoil, including an awkward video apology, CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down. VW’s value dropped by as much as 29 billion euros ($32.6 billion), as criminal and regulatory investigations were opened around the globe.
While the recovery efforts led by new CEO Matthias Mueller haven’t always been smooth, the automaker has shown surprising resilience. The stock price has climbed 40 percent since its low in October, consumers still buy VW cars, finances are intact, and the company is investing in the future even as it absorbs nearly 18 billion euros in fines and clean-up costs.