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MPs are stepping up their calls for the government to publish its plan for Brexit in a formal policy document.
A number of Conservatives have joined Labour in asking for a White Paper on negotiating objectives, arguing it will allow for a fuller debate. It comes after the Supreme Court ruled MPs must vote on whether the government can start Brexit. A parliamentary bill paving the way for talks with the EU could be introduced as early as Thursday.
Investment in the UK’s automotive industry fell in 2016 after several years of strong growth, according to the head of the industry’s trade body. Some investment decisions are also on hold until there is clarity about the UK’s post-Brexit trading arrangements. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, was giving evidence to the Treasury Committee on Tuesday. He told MPs that investment appears to be falling back.
The UK has borrowed 14 per cent less this year than last, putting it on track to meet the latest forecast from its fiscal watchdog. The total for the financial year-to-date, from April to December, is £63.8bn, compared with £74.4bn in the same period of 2015 — a £10.6bn fall, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.
Forecasts made by the Office for Budget Responsibility in November predicted the government would borrow £68.2bn, 10 per cent less than last year.
British drivers travelling to France will be hit with fines of up to £116 if they fail to display an emissions sticker detailing how much their car pollutes. Under the Crit’Air scheme, all vehicles driving in Paris and other major French cities will be required to grade their emissions on a scale of one to six. Any vehicle manufactured in 1996 or earlier will be banned from the capital between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. The measures were introduced after Paris recorded several severe smog spikes over the past two months, prompting traffic restrictions and free public transport.
Higher and degree apprenticeships are likely to expand significantly over the next few years as they become more familiar to employers, school-leavers and — crucially — to parents. The attractions are obvious. For employers they are an opportunity to train talented young people in skilled and professional roles who are cheaper and, by all accounts, highly motivated and adaptable. For school-leavers they offer a salary, work experience, industry contacts and academic or professional qualifications, with no tuition fees or student loan. Numbers remain very small. Last year, 27, 200 people started higher apprenticeships, a big rise compared to 2015, but of these only 1,800 were school-leavers of 18. The vast majority were older workers, aged 25 or above.
US President Donald Trump has urged the heads of car companies to boost production in the US and promised to slash “out of control” regulations to attract more investment. Trump yesterday also signed executive orders for construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, which had been thrown into doubt under his predecessor Barack Obama over environmental concerns. Vowing to revive the US manufacturing industry, Trump backed the pipelines as long as American steel was used.