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Growth ‘more important than Brexit’Back


Growth ‘more important than Brexit’

Brexit should not overshadow plans to boost growth, a business lobby group conference will be told on Thursday. The biggest challenges facing businesses in the UK are to do with “fundamentals” rather than Brexit, the British Chambers of Commerce says. The UK government said it was committed to its industrial strategy and boosting productivity. Policy makers have wrestled with low UK productivity growth since the financial crisis.


New Look rescue deal puts 980 jobs at risk

British fashion retailer New Look plans to close 60 stores as part of a rescue deal to help it avoid going into administration. About 980 staff face redundancy – from a 15,300-strong UK workforce – and rents at about 400 stores will be slashed. The rescue plan still needs approval from creditors. New Look said it faced “a difficult trading environment”. Chairman Alistair McGeorge said the cuts were “tough but necessary”. The retailer – which has 593 stores in total – hopes to redeploy employees within the business where possible.


Parking and bus lane fine appeals win four times out of 10

Almost half of drivers who challenged parking and bus lane fines issued by local authorities were successful, figures obtained by the BBC suggest. Four out of 10 appeals to hundreds of councils across the UK over five years led to fines being cancelled. Motoring group the RAC said the data was “frightening” and showed drivers were “right to appeal.” The Local Government Association said the figures proved councils had an “effective” appeal process. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that out of almost 4.3 million appeals, 1.8 million succeeded. They show 84 councils accepted more than half of challenges.


Post-Brexit UK financial markets ‘offer’ for Gibraltar

The UK is to offer Gibraltar continued barrier-free access to finance markets after Brexit, the BBC understands. The UK is negotiating for Gibraltar to be treated the same as Britain when it leaves the EU in March 2019. But the EU insists Madrid can stop a transitional deal or future trade relationship applying to Gibraltar unless there is a Spain-UK agreement. Gibraltar fears Spain could use this veto to force talks about the Rock’s constitutional future. At the very least, it fears there could be talks about closer cooperation with Spain.


The Financial Times


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars boss lambasts Aston Martin 

The chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has launched a powerful dismissal of Aston Martin’s plan to steal its customers with the electric Lagonda brand. Torsten Müller-Otvös said the sports car maker has “zero clue” about attracting rich motorists after Aston Martin pledged to woo Rolls-Royce owners looking to switch to electric vehicles. One senior Aston Martin executive likened the Rolls-Royce brand to “Ancient Greece” and called a petrol-driven Rolls-Royce “an imperfect package for luxury” on the website of car magazine Autocar. Mr Müller-Ötvös said Aston Martin’s remarks at the Geneva Motor Show were “highly unprofessional”.


Car insurance premiums soar for drivers caught using mobiles

Drivers caught using their mobiles at the wheel face a 30 per cent rise in their insurance premiums, as well as a £200 fine. Over the past year, more than 26,000 motorists have been caught using their smartphones while driving. The penalty for the offence — known as distracted driving — doubled in March last year and is now a fine and six points on the driving licence. New research from Octo Telematics and insurer LV has shown that insurance companies are increasing premiums by about 30 per cent for people convicted of the offence. The average UK car insurance premium is now £827, meaning distracted drivers pay about £248 per year more for their insurance, according to, a comparison website.


The Daily Express


World’s biggest car maker says it is SCRAPPING diesel cars FOREVER 

Toyota, the world’s biggest motor manufacturer, said it would never again sell diesel cars in Britain after December. At the same time, Subaru said it would sell its existing stock of diesels but not make any more – with its last ever new diesel cars expected to hit British showrooms this time next year. Demand for diesels has collapsed since the Volkswagen emissions scandal rocked the world in September 2015. Only a third of cars sold in the UK are now diesel – 28,317 last month – down from nearly half just a year ago. The latest announcements, which came at the Geneva Motor Show, will add to fears that existing diesel drivers will increasingly be targeted as the Government seeks to rid the roads of the most polluting vehicles.


The Daily Mail


Potholes leave 400 cyclists dead or maimed in a decade as councils slash spending on roads by a fifth

Potholes have contributed to the death or serious injury of almost 400 cyclists over the past decade, official figures show. The number of serious cycling accidents caused by crumbling roads has also hit the highest level in almost ten years. Four cyclists died and 60 were seriously injured in 2016, the latest year for which official statistics are available. This compares with two fatalities and 15 serious injuries in 2007. Between 2007 and 2016, 22 cyclists died and 368 were badly hurt, according to figures published by roads minister Jesse Norman after a parliamentary question from Labour MP Catherine West. The statistics covered the number of accidents where police reported that a ‘poor or defective road surface’ was a ‘contributory factor’.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 08/03/2018