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Britain needs an interventionist government working with the private sector, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has told the BBC.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr McDonnell said the UK would borrow in the short term for long-term investment and the “prosperity of the future”. Mr McDonnell said this would trigger investment from the private sector and, ultimately, higher tax returns. He will deliver a keynote speech at the Labour conference later. It comes as shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is to promise to replace any regional funding shortfalls in the UK caused by Britain’s departure from the European Union.
MG has announced it is to stop making cars at its Longbridge plant and will be moving production to China – ending manufacturing in the UK. The firm said vehicle assembly was no longer “required” and cars would arrive “fully built ready for distribution”. MG said there would be 25 redundancies, but sales, marketing and after-sales operations would remain at the plant. The first new MG for 16 years rolled off the production line in the West Midlands in 2011.
It marked the first large-scale production at the plant since the demise of Rover in 2005.
It will also be end of car manufacturing at the Longbridge plant – which has seen cars built there since Herbert Austin set up in 1906, although there was a gap in production when MG shut down in 2005.
Volkswagen has pledged to accelerate its recall programme in European markets for the 8.5m cars caught up in the dieselgate scandal and to improve communication with customers, as the company seeks to relieve pressure from Brussels over its handling of the crisis. In a letter to Vera Jourova, the EU justice commissioner, VW makes a commitment to complete its European repair programme “by autumn 2017” and to provide information to all customers on when the work will be done by the end of 2016.
EU officials said that the steps would go some way to addressing what they regard as unacceptable gaps in the company’s communication with its customers about how it intends to make amends for the scandal, which centres on VW’s use of software to cheat in emissions tests. Brussels has particular concerns that VW has focused its repair efforts on certain key EU markets while leaving consumers largely in the dark in others.
Britain’s manufacturers insisted they have a crucial role to play in a post-Brexit world, contributing $247bn (£190bn) a year to the economy and creating well-paid, high-value jobs. The UK is the world’s ninth-largest industrial nation and manufacturing accounts for 14% of business investment according to a report by the sector’s trade body, called EEF, and Santander. But it comes at a time of huge uncertainty for manufacturers, with companies intending to cut investment in new plant and machinery to its lowest level since the financial crisis according to a survey published by EEF earlier this month.
One of Google’s self-driving cars was involved in one of the worst autonomous vehicle accident yet, when a driver ran a red light and collided with the passenger side door of the modified Lexus SUV. The driver of the vehicle passed through a red light as one of Google’s fleet of autonomous Lexus SUVs passed through a green light on Friday afternoon. The collision, which occurred at the intersection between El Camino Rea and Phyllis Ave in Mountain View, California, caused the Google car’s airbags to be deployed, and caved in its front and rear right-side doors. Mountain View police said that no injuries were reported, but the Google car had to be towed away on a flatbed truck.
Congestion is so heavy on some motorways that average speeds are lower than the upper limit on inner-city roads, according to research. The slowest part of the network is the M606 which connects the M62 with Bradford, where drivers crawl along at an average of 24.6mph. It was among six motorways where average speeds were below 30mph, the default limit in built-up areas. Other slow motorways include the M32 into Bristol, the M9 between Edinburgh and Dunblane, the M621 into Leeds and the M602 and M60 near Manchester. The conclusions by the vehicle tracking service RAM Tracking were published in the Daily Mail. Official figures show that motorway traffic has increased twice as quickly as on other roads. The government is introducing “smart” motorways in which the hard shoulder is stripped out to create an extra lane, with differential speed limits at peak times. A separate study published today by the AA warned of “death zones” caused by emergency lay-bys being too far apart.