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Theresa May and ministers gather for key Brexit meeting
Theresa May is to chair the first of two key Brexit meetings with her senior ministers as the government faces more calls to clarify the UK’s position. The Brexit cabinet committee is to sketch out what the future relationship between the UK and EU might look like. It will focus on Northern Ireland and immigration, and on trade on Thursday. It comes as a leaked document suggests the EU wants to be able to restrict UK access to the single market if there is a dispute after Brexit. According to a draft section of the UK and EU’s withdrawal agreement, which has yet to be finalised, the power to suspend “certain benefits” would apply during a transition phase after the UK leaves in March 2019. The UK said the document simply reflected the EU’s “stated directives”.
Theresa May announces review into future of newspapers
Theresa May has announced a review into the future of the newspaper industry, warning that the closure of hundreds of titles was a “danger to our democracy”. In a speech in Manchester, she warned that the decline of “credible” news providers left the public “vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy”. The review will look into sustainable funding models for the printed press at national, regional and local level. The prime minister said high-quality journalism was a “force for good”.
Tesco faces record £4bn equal pay claim
Tesco is facing Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim and a possible bill running to £4bn. Thousands of women who work in Tesco stores could receive back pay totalling £20,000 if the legal challenge demanding parity with men who work in the company’s warehouses is successful. Lawyers say hourly-paid female store staff earn less than men even though the value of the work is comparable. Tesco said it worked hard to ensure all staff were paid “fairly and equally”.
Nissan in talks to make electric cars and batteries in Thailand
Nissan is in talks with Thailand’s government about producing electric cars and automotive batteries in the Southeast Asian kingdom, according to a senior executive at the Japanese carmaker. Yutaka Sanada, Nissan’s regional chief, said on Tuesday that Thailand was “keen to support investment” in electric vehicles and batteries, and that the carmaker and its competitors were seriously considering investing in the new technology there, primarily for export to other countries in the region. “We are considering . . . shifting our portfolio to a more electrified line-up in the coming three to five years,” Mr Sanada told the Financial Times on the sidelines of a conference on EVs organised by Nissan. “If so, considering the lead time, we need to consider now some local battery assembly in Thailand.” The carmaker, with its alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors, is one of the biggest in Thailand, which has Southeast Asia’s largest automotive industry, producing just under 2m light vehicles last year. Nissan also manufactures in Indonesia and has an assembly plant in Malaysia.
More motorists are told to make room for cyclists
Fingal county council has become the latest local authority to add minimum passing distance signs to vehicles and erect road warnings for motorists. The road safety division within the council has also backed a campaign for a minimum passing distance law (MPDL) to be introduced. The law would require motorists to pass cyclists at 1m clearance on roads with a speed limit under 50 km/h and 1.5m on those of 50km/h or above. An amendment proposing its introduction is being tabled later this month by Robert Troy, Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesman. The idea was first proposed in Ireland by Phil Skelton, who founded the “Stayin’ Alive at 1.5” campaign in 2013 after being run off the road.
Apprentices will get a place at Cambridge University
Cambridge University is to offer apprenticeships for the first time in a sign that vocational training is becoming a genuine alternative to conventional degrees and £27,000 tuition fees. The university has been registered as an official apprenticeship trainer alongside companies such as Lloyds Bank, Greggs bakery and British Airways. Other universities including Bath Spa and the University of Brighton, which are already renowned for their vocational courses, have also been registered.
Which side of the car is my petrol cap on? The arrow next to the symbol on your petrol gauge explained
How many times have you pulled up to the petrol pump and got out of your car, only to find your fuel cap is on the other side? Here’s a handy tip so you can easily get reminded of where your petrol cap is located. What symbol on a car tells you which side the petrol cap is on? There is a handy reminder on your car as to what side you should be putting your fuel in. In most cars there is a little arrow next to the picture of the petrol pump on the fuel gauge to show you which side your cap is. This will save drivers who always forget from hanging out of the car window to check before pulling in at a petrol station. With some cars, there isn’t an arrow symbol, but there is a way to tell which side of the car your cap is on. Some vehicles will have a little petrol pump icon off to one side of the gauge, and it’s usually on the same side as the fuel cap is on the car.
Brits ‘don’t want to own their cars anymore’ as they turn to Netflix-style rental deals
Brits are turning their back on owning cars in favour of Netflix and Spotify-style rental deals. The rise in on-demand streaming services has prompted Brits to switch to fixed term leases rather than rent-to-buy car finance. Car ownership in the UK fell by almost 10 per cent last year with leasing deals up 12 per cent, according to ContractHireAndLeasing.com. Eight out of 10 new cars are bought on finance with Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals – that feature the option to buy at the end of the deal – traditionally most popular. But the rise in Netflix, Spotify and smartphone contracts has prompted buyers to turn to “on-demand” deals without the option to buy. These Personal Contract Hire (PCH) deals – with fixed monthly payments for a set term – have surged by 12 per cent in the last year.