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Theresa May: ‘We can prove Brexit doomsayers wrong’Back



Theresa May: ‘We can prove Brexit doomsayers wrong’

Theresa May will tell parliament later that the UK can “prove the doomsayers wrong” when it comes to Brexit.

The prime minister will say “progress will not always be smooth”, but add that she wants the best possible deal for both the UK and the EU. Her statement comes as the fifth round of negotiations begin in Brussels. It is the final set of talks before EU leaders meet to decide if enough progress has been made to talk about post-Brexit relations with the UK.

In her first address to parliament since she outlined her plans in Florence, Mrs May will describe the government’s ambition for a “new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and a strong and successful European Union”. After a difficult week for the prime minister following her chaotic Tory conference speech and renewed questions about her leadership, the BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said she was determined to seize the initiative and adopt a more assertive, bullish tone about Brexit.

The talks between UK negotiators and Brussels officials will be lower profile this week, with neither David Davis or his EU counterpart Michel Barnier attending the start. However, it will be the last time the two sides are scheduled to meet before an EU summit on 19 October.





Going electric — at a price 

Potential owners of electric cars are more interested in saving the pennies than the planet. Research by the National Franchised Dealers Association found that the single biggest reason a motorist might consider changing to an electric car would be if the price of a lower emission car was lower than the vehicle they might otherwise buy. Electric cars are more expensive than conventional ones.


Self-driving cars could run on unlit roads to conserve energy 

Lights could go out on motorways after driverless cars are introduced, to save energy and end “night blight”, an official report says. A study published by Highways England said that self-driving cars would reduce the need for lighting because vehicles could be guided by radar. The report was compiled by a panel set up to improve the design of major roads after John Hayes, the transport minister, said they were “brutal, crass and ugly” and failed to blend in with the countryside.

Mr Hayes appointed the design council to improve the look of the roads and motorways that are being built as part of a £15 billion investment. Its report said that lighting was important for safety but supported the principle of challenging whether it was needed and called for more “dimmable” lights.

The panel took evidence from the Campaign to Protect Rural England and said its mapping of “night blight” areas damaged by light pollution could be used to help plan roads. The report said that darkness was “important for wildlife and often a highly lit road can be a most obtrusive feature in what is otherwise a dark sky area”. The panel recommended that Highways England should consider switching off, or turning down, some lights because of environmental concerns.


Polluting software hidden from drivers 

Car manufacturers are allowed to hide the use of technology that increases the emissions of new cars outside of official tests under a clause in an EU regulation that came into force last month. The software switches off emission-control systems that reduce toxic nitrogen dioxide. Companies are not required to inform their customers about it, only the approval authorities, which have been accused of turning a blind eye to cheating on emissions tests such as in the Volkswagen diesel scandal exposed two years ago.


Apprentices profit from paid degree courses

School-leavers will be paid to become full-time students at Russell Group universities in a “win-win” revolution of apprenticeships. Apprentices will have the full student experience – except they will graduate in profit after studying alongside undergraduates who pay £9,250 a year in tuition fees, and thousands more in living expenses. The move could herald a significant reform of traditional degree routes and reverse parental snobbery, which experts say is now one of the only remaining barriers to higher level apprenticeships.





Companies keep close eye on ‘watershed’data leak case 

A landmark High Court trial of a case by Wm Morrison workers over a huge leak of personal data by a former employee will begin this week. The lawsuit was brought by 5,500 current and former Morrisons workers. They are seeking compensation over the 2014 data security breach in which payroll information of almost 100,000 staff was posted on the internet. The legal case, which is believed to be the first data leak class action in the UK, will be keenly watched by companies who worry it could spark a new wave of court cases from workers and customers in the event of a data breach. The two-week High Court case is due to determine whether Morrisons is liable for the data leak. If the claimants are successful, a second trial will go ahead to determine the level of compensation for victims. The details posted on the internet included bank and salary details as well as addresses and National Insurance numbers.

Data breaches are becoming more common. Equifax, the US credit-reporting company, recently admitted that as many as 400,000 UK consumers might have had their personal information stolen.


Weak productivity growth hampers global recovery 

The global economy is experiencing its broadest and strongest upturn for more than five years, but that improvement is being undermined by weak productivity growth. An update to a tracking index compiled by the Brookings Institution think-tank and the Financial Times confirms the momentum of the global growth cycle and shows that the outlook for the rest of the year and 2018 remains healthy.

The index, which covers all significant advanced and developing economies, is at or close to five-year highs on measures of the real economy, confidence and financial conditions. But with global growth rates well below those before the financial crisis that began a decade ago, the results echo concerns that further economic reforms are needed to maintain growth rates and stave off another downturn. In recent weeks the OECD has urged finance ministers and central bankers to use the “window of opportunity” created by the upturn wisely after the economic troubles of the past decade. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has urged them not to let a decent recovery “go to waste”.


Uber’s French rivals aim to ratchet up pressure 

Uber’s rivals in Paris are cranking up effort to steal market share from the ride-hailing app in France and across Europe, seeking to take advantage of the pressure on Uber’s brand. Chaffeur Prive’, the second -largest ride-hailing app in France by number of users, is in the final stages of a €50m funding round to fuel its expansion in France and beyond. It is seeking to recruit an additional 70 to 100 to its team of 150 in the coming months.





Sturgeon promises to pay residency fees for EU citizens in public sector

Nicola Sturgeon offered to pay the residency fees for EU citizens who currently work in the Scottish public sector, in a move to reinforce her anti-Brexit credentials as her party’s conference opened. Sturgeon said the pledge would protect up to 20,000 EU nationals who worked in Scotland’s hospitals, schools, universities and public agencies and faced losing their UK residency status after Brexit.





Buyers want 18% discount on diesel cars 

Diesel cars would have heavily discounted to tempt buyers to choose them over petrol, hybrid or electric ones, experts say. Only one in six drivers thinking of buying a new motor in the next two years would consider a diesel a poll found. And it would  have to be an average 18% cheaper than a petrol vehicle to win them over, said the Kwik Fit survey of 2,000 drivers.

Only a third of those who now drive a diesel car would buy another one, while almost half will instead switch to hybrid, petrol and electric models.



Posted by Paul Carpenter on 09/10/2017