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PM says Brexit plan to ‘strengthen Union’ ahead of Sturgeon meeting
Theresa May will meet Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland later for the first time since the SNP announced their proposals for a second independence referendum. At the beginning of a week that will see Article 50 triggered on Wednesday, the PM will say she wants to “build a more united nation”. Mrs May has said “now is not the time” for a Scottish independence referendum, as the Brexit process is due to begin. Meanwhile, Labour is due to outline its Brexit negotiation demands later.
Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona crash
Uber has pulled its self-driving cars from the roads after an accident which left one of the vehicles on its side.
Pictures posted online showed the car on its right side on an Arizona street, next to another badly damaged vehicle.
The car – a Volvo SUV – was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, on Friday, Uber said. No one was hurt.
New cars much less fuel efficient than manufacturers claim, research finds
New cars are using vastly more fuel on the road than in laboratory tests, raising further questions about the veracity of car manufacturers’ claims in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The Australian Automobile Association-commissioned research found fuel use was on average 25% higher than claimed on the government-mandated fuel consumption label displayed on all new cars. In some cases, they were 60% above the fuel use claimed on the label.
On-road noxious gas emissions from five diesel cars were found to be over the legal limit, in one case by up to eight times. Two petrol cars were significantly above the limits for carbon monoxide emissions.
Apprenticeship levy will deepen north-south divide, IPPR says
The government’s new £3bn apprenticeship levy threatens to deepen Britain’s north-south divide, according to a new analysis, with London and the south-east benefiting most from the government’s shakeup of staff training. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has warned that the apprenticeship levy, which comes into force next month, will raise less money and have a smaller impact in the areas that need it most. These areas are those that have been hit by deindustrialisation and suffer from low levels of qualifications, low productivity and low pay. The new levy is designed to increase the number and quality of apprenticeships in the UK, with the government aiming to create 3 million new placements by 2020. It will be paid by employers in England with a payroll of more than £3m and charged at a rate of 0.5% of their annual wage bill. The Treasury has estimated it will raise nearly £3bn a year.
Council’s £10,000 bill after pothole sidelines Ferrari
A Ferrari owner has been awarded £10,000 from a council after a pothole that would have cost just £53 to repair damaged his “pride and joy”. Scott Nicholas, 44, nearly crashed during a rare drive in his £150,000 Ferrari 458 when he hit the dip in the road. A wheel and the suspension were damaged and the passenger airbag was set off, ripping the seating. His car was off the road for three months while he awaited parts from Italy, leading him to take Peterborough council to a small claims court.