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Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has defended his action to mitigate the impact of Brexit.
He said the Bank took “timely, comprehensive and concrete” action, which acted to “support, cushion and help the economy to adjust”. Last month’s rate cut to an historic low of 0.25% helped support house prices and the wider economy, he added.
He added he was “absolutely serene” about the Bank’s preparations for the impact from the Brexit vote. Mr Carney was being questioned by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee about how the Bank handled the referendum outcome and its decision to cut interest rates to a record low.
Theresa May and Donald Tusk holding Brexit talks
Theresa May is meeting European Council President Donald Tusk for the first time since becoming UK prime minister later, with Brexit on the agenda. In talks at Downing Street, Mrs May will say the UK will continue to play a full role in the EU until it leaves.
It comes as EU leaders, excluding the UK, prepare to meet next week to sketch out the bloc’s future after Brexit. The PM has said the government will not reveal its hand too soon, amid pressure to set out its post-Brexit vision.
Volkswagen on Wednesday signed an agreement with China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co to explore joint development of electric cars, in the latest sign of how the German company is accelerating work in this area after the diesel emissions scandal.
VW is seeking to consolidate its long-term position as one of the leading overseas carmakers in China by — among other things — evaluating a joint venture with state-owned JAC. China is VW’s largest market, and the country is tightening regulation of cars powered by petrol and diesel engines, in moves intended to tackle widespread air pollution in towns and cities, and curb vehicles’ contribution to global warming.
Killer drivers face longer jail terms
Drivers who kill could face tougher penalties under an overhaul of sentencing for dangerous driving announced by the prime minister yesterday. Theresa May told the Commons that the Ministry of Justice was reviewing the law for those who caused death by reckless driving as she disclosed that one of her constituents was a victim. The offence carries a minimum sentence of a year in prison and disqualification from driving for at least two years. Judges can give prison terms of up to 14 years but longer sentences are rare. The average sentence is 4.8 years.
Activity in Britain’s factories collapsed in the month after Brexit, according to the first official figures on the state of the economy since the referendum. Manufacturing shrank 0.9 per cent between June and July, the biggest monthly fall in a year, as the industry responded to the surprise result. The figures, the first formal data on post-Brexit Britain from the Office for National Statistics, appeared to confirm the dismal early indications for the month in July’s purchasing managers index.
Lasting rise in hate crime after EU referendum, figures show
Hate crime surged in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the second half of July – nearly a month after the EU referendum vote – and still remains at significantly higher levels than a year ago. The latest set of figures quietly released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on Wednesday show a 49% rise in incidents to 1,863 in the last week in July when compared with the previous year. The week after saw a record 58% increase in recorded incidents to 1,787.
Car giant Renault has admitted that diesel engines are to disappear from most of its European models blaming tighter emissions standards following the Volkswagen scandal. French firm Renault and its domestic rival Peugeot both heavily invested in diesel technology and more than 60 per cent of the 1.6 million cars Renault sold in Europe last had diesel engines. However, by 2020 more stringent EU emissions standards come into force following a scandal that saw Volkswagen admit engineering software to cheat emissions tests.
NAIROBI — Volkswagen Group will resume building cars in Kenya by the end of the year as it looks to sell more vehicles across the East African region.
After a four-decade pause in production by the automaker in Kenya, VW will establish an assembly plant to initially produce its subcompact Polo Vivo hatchback, the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Thomas Schafer, Volkswagen’s South Africa’s CEO, said Wednesday at a meeting between government officials and VW executives.
Neither Kenyatta nor Schafer said how much VW was investing in the project.
The joint venture with local importer DT Dobie will assemble up to 5,000 Polo Vivos annually from knock-down kits at a plant operated by the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers, VW said in a statement. The project will be VW’s third production facility in Africa alongside sites in South Africa and Nigeria.
AMSTERDAM — A Dutchman died on Wednesday after his Tesla Model S collided with a tree, according to local authorities, and it took firefighters hours to remove his body from the vehicle due to fears they could be electrocuted.
The cause of the crash on a highway about 40 km east of Amsterdam was not known. Photos of the crash scene published by local media showed the back of the car mostly intact but its front smashed in and parts strewn about.
Tesla said it was “working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident” and would publish its findings as soon as they were available. A spokeswoman said it was not known whether the car was using “autopilot,” Tesla’s driving assistance technology, at the time of the crash, and that would form part of the investigation.