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Prime Minister – Theresa May
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson
Home secretary Amber Rudd
Defence secretary Michael Fallon (reappointed)
Secretary of state for Brexit David Davis
International trade secretary Liam Fox
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale
Interest rates could be cut to new low
The Bank of England could make the first cut to UK interest rates in more than seven years today.
Mark Carney, the Bank governor, has indicated that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would vote to cut rates in July or August. The probable reduction from 0.5% to 0.25% is intended to boost the UK economy in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Although a cut is not certain, financial markets put the probability at about 80%.
UK car factories face uncertain future after Brexit
Walking the length of Nissan’s car plant in Sunderland takes substantially longer than it did a year ago. A £250m expansion of the site — already the UK’s largest car assembly line — introduced a new wing that enables the factory to make luxury saloons sold under the Japanese carmaker’s Infiniti brand. Nissan said in December that the investment heralded a “new chapter” for the plant.
Now, however, the factory is one of several in the UK that face an uncertain future following Britain’s vote last month to leave the EU. Some car industry executives have expressed concerns that if the UK struggles to retain good access to the EU single market after Brexit, then British car plants risk becoming uncompetitive, leading to lost work on refreshed models and, in time, possible closure.
Learners must prove they can park
Learner drivers will have to reverse into a parking bay and operate the heated rear windscreen under the biggest shake-up of the driving test for 20 years. The government will announce today that more “real life” procedures will be introduced next year to improve drivers’ skills. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is planning to double the amount of “independent driving” in the test from 10 to 20 minutes. Traditional test manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner will be replaced with scenarios including driving in and out of a parking space.
Candidates will also be asked to follow directions on a sat-nav and given instructions such as to switch on lights or heated windows. The changes come amid concerns that motorists are more likely to be involved in a crash within six months of passing their test than at any other time. They follow a series of other reforms that have already been announced, including allowing learner drivers to practise on motorways and introducing a deposit that would be refunded to successful candidates, encouraging people to delay taking their test until they are ready.
Business optimism deteriorates ‘out of all recognition’ in UK after Brexit vote
European business optimism has plummeted in the wake of the EU referendum, driven by a “collapse” in UK sentiment, according to Credit Suisse. Two thirds of European companies now expect to postpone or reduce spending in the UK over the next six months, a survey by the bank showed. UK prospects had “deteriorated out of all recognition”, with the balance of companies expecting corporate spending to increase versus decrease falling to “unprecedented” levels, it said.
Fatal crash prompts federal investigation of Tesla self-driving cars
A letter from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration says that it is investigating all Tesla vehicles equipped with any version of its “Autopilot Technology Package” in the wake of a crash in May that killed a 40-year-old man. The accident that killed Joshua Brown appears to have happened because autopilot – a self-driving mode still in its testing phase – could not distinguish between a white truck and a bright sky in this case, according to Tesla. Tesla explained the cause of the accident in mechanical terms on 30 June when news of the accident broke: “Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied,” a spokesperson wrote on the company website.
Motorists paying more for fuel following Brexit vote
Motorists are paying more for fuel at the pumps following the EU referendum result despite the price of oil falling, new figures show. Since June 24 the wholesale price of unleaded has dropped by nearly 3p per litre (ppl) but the average price on forecourts has risen by more than 0.5p. Diesel forecourt prices have gone up even more since the vote for Brexit – a 0.7ppl increase despite the wholesale price falling by 0.3p. RAC fuel spokesman Pete Williams said the impact of the fall in the value of sterling on wholesale prices has largely been cancelled out by the declining oil price. Brent crude sunk below $45 dollars a barrel on Friday for the first time since early May.
Coroner calls for new drivers to be barred from carrying more than two passengers after tragic triple crash death
A CORONER has called for young drivers to be banned from carrying more than two passengers at once for a year after passing their test, an inquest has heard. Bedfordshire senior coroner Tom Osbourne made the comments while presiding over an inquest into the tragic death of three young people who “had their whole lives ahead of them” before they died in a horrific car crash last year.
Almost half of insurance firms charge loyal customers admin fees of up to £50
Insurance firms have found a new way to rip off loyal customers – charging them “admin fees” of as much as £50 that new customers avoid, a probe reveals. The additional fees are ON TOP of the higher premiums that existing customers are typically hit with. Big firms such as Budget, Hastings, Saga and Swinton are among those to add fees at renewal, the report by Money Saving Expert found. The consumer site asked 20 major insurers and brokers if they charged an admin fee simply for renewing your car or home insurance policy. Nine said they did, with the fees costing up to £50 for those who bought their car insurance from Budget. These fees are in addition to the premium you pay, which can often be significantly more if you’re renewing, as the best prices are usually for new customers.