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David Cameron is to allow ministers to campaign for either side in the referendum once a deal is reached on the UK’s relationship with the EU. He said the UK government would make a recommendation to the British people on which way to vote in the referendum. But he told MPs “it will be open to individual ministers to take a different, personal decision while remaining part of the government”. The referendum on whether the UK stays in the EU will be held before 2018.
The Financial Times
US carmakers set the seal on a remarkable six-year recovery in December, with bumper sales that pushed a rejuvenated motor industry past the annual sales record it set in 2000. Strengthening consumer confidence, cheap credit and low fuel prices have spurred demand for far longer than Wall Street expected. While growth is likely to slow, analysts predict 2016 may be another record year.
Brussels is seeking new powers to police carmakers’ compliance with emissions rules as EU officials seek to address regulatory failings that left it to US regulators to expose widespread cheating by Germany’s Volkswagen.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is considering options including endowing itself with authority to review the national regulators who currently assess cars’ safety and environmental performance, according to officials. This could include giving the commission power to demand extra testing on suspect cars and even to apply sanctions.
Toyota has hired Google’s former head of robotics and a key executive in the search company’s driverless car efforts, as it predicted that robots could become as important to its future as cars have been to it since the 1930s.
The Daily Mail
The average price of petrol fell by more than 4p per litre in December, according to new figures. A litre of unleaded dropped from 107.55p at the start of the month to 102.89p by the close, reducing the cost of filling up a 55-litre car by more than £2. The average price of diesel dropped by 3p per litre from 109.86p to 106.18p, according to the RAC Fuel Watch report. But many drivers have been able to take advantage of even lower prices in recent weeks.
Your car could soon control appliances in your home, if Ford has its way. The company today announced at CES that it is exploring linking its cars to smart devices like Amazon Echo and Wink. This will allow its vehicles to control lights, thermostats, kettles, security systems and other features of their homes from their car.