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The UK is “doing great” following its vote to leave the EU, US President-elect Donald Trump has said.
In his first UK interview – with former Justice Secretary Michael Gove for the Times – Mr Trump said he thought the UK was “so smart in getting out”. Mr Trump promised a quick trade deal between the US and the UK after he takes office on Friday. He also criticised “obsolete” Nato and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies. Mr Trump spoke to the Times and German newspaper Bild ahead of his inauguration on Friday.
The pound has hit its lowest level for more than three months on reports Britain was set to quit the EU single market as part of its Brexit plans. Sterling fell below the $1.20 level before recovering slightly on Monday.
The pound also dropped to a two-month low against the euro, falling more than 1% to about €1.13 in Asian trading.
Analysts said traders were reacting to reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would use a speech on Tuesday to signal a so-called “hard Brexit”. Reports have suggested she will signal pulling out of the EU single market and customs union, although Downing Street described this as “speculation”. The pound has fallen about 20% against the dollar since June’s EU referendum, to lows last regularly seen in 1985.
Growing adoption of self-driving vehicles risks aggravating urban congestion if it promotes the use of cars over buses and trains, a public transport body has warned. The International Union of Public Transport sets out two scenarios for the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles in a policy brief. Under one, public transport operators exploit the technology to reinforce services. Autonomous vehicles might serve as on-demand shuttles to bring people to rail stations or bus stops, it suggests. In the alternative scenario, the widespread private ownership of autonomous vehicles worsens congestion substantially.
Potholes are expected to appear in British roads at an “unprecedented rate” in the coming months, after the number of breakdowns they caused jumped nearly a quarter at the end of last year. Vehicle failures caused by potholes in the final three months of 2016 were up 24 per cent on a year earlier, despite little rainfall. A return to seasonal downpours and cold is now likely to play havoc with road surfaces, the RAC warned.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is not seeking any Nissan-style guarantee from Whitehall after Britain’s departure from the European Union, its chief executive has said. Torsten Müller-Otvos said the company would not threaten job cuts if ministers did not pledge to protect it from the consequences of Brexit. In the autumn, the government promised Nissan that it would not “lose out” from Brexit and the carmaker secured thousands of jobs in Sunderland by announcing it would build two new models at its plant in the city.
Britain’s largest graduate employers plan to expand their recruitment of university leavers this year in a further sign of confidence in the economy. The top 100 graduate recruiters are seeking to hire 20,985 to their management programmes, 868 (4.3 per cent) more than last year. It will be the fifth consecutive year that leading employers have expanded their graduate programmes and is good news for students, who have become increasingly focused on their career prospects since university tuition fees trebled to £9,000 a year in 2012. The graduate recruitment market contracted sharply after the financial crisis in 2008, falling by 6.7 per cent, and dipped again in 2012 but has increased steadily since.
Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe – just not in North America. Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fuelling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city’s annual auto show. “Car electrification is an irreversible trend,” said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars.