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Theresa May will tell leaders the UK is “open for business” when she speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
At the gathering of business and government leaders in Switzerland, the PM is also expected to warn about those “left behind” by globalisation. Her trip comes after EU leaders said reaching a trade deal with the UK would be “very difficult”. The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said Brexit would be bad for the UK and the EU. In her speech, Mrs May is expected to say the global elites need to tackle the backlash against globalisation, liberalism, and free trade. She will argue for reforms, so the global economy creates wealth for all, rather than a privileged few.
Scotland’s economic growth was a third of the overall UK figure and unemployment is rising, according to figures published as the governing Scottish National party struggles to decide whether to demand another independence referendum. The SNP made Scotland’s relative economic strength a central part of its case for independence ahead of the 2014 referendum, but growth has fallen behind, partly because of sharp falls in the oil price.
Disgraced former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn faces a grilling by German lawmakers today, as accusations grow of top executives at the beleaguered auto giant colluding to cover up emissions cheating. The former CEO’s testimony will be “particularly important” in light of the latest allegations against the VW group, said Herbert Behrens, who heads a special parliamentary committee investigating the “dieselgate” scandal.
HSBC and Toyota have dealt a blow to the prime minister’s vision for a global Britain by threatening to move jobs abroad. Responding to Theresa May’s speech setting out her strategy for leaving the European Union, Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of the UK’s largest bank, warned that 1,000 investment banking jobs could be transferred to Paris. Toyota, which employs more than 3,000 people, is in discussions with the government about receiving similar assurances to those given to Nissan last year that competitiveness would not be affected by Brexit. Takeshi Uchiyamada, its chairman, told the Financial Times: “As a UK company, if the situation changes, it is important for that company to make efforts so that they can maintain their competitiveness and continue their business.”
Inflation in the United States has edged above a key threshold, raising the prospect that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates further and faster than expected this year. It was 2.1 per cent in December on an annual basis, its highest in two and a half years, government figures showed yesterday. The Fed’s inflation target is 2 per cent.
Female employment is at an all-time high, while wage growth has risen at its fastest pace since November 2015, according to the latest Government figures. The Office for National Statistics reported that 69.9pc of women aged from 16 to 64 were in work in the three months to November, compared to 69.1pc a year earlier, and the highest female employment rate since records began in 1971. Wage levels, excluding bonuses, rose by an annual rate of 2.7pc in the same period – the strongest increase since August 2015. With bonuses included, the increase was 2.8pc.
Britain should prepare for a fresh spike in hate crimes against EU citizens when the article 50 process triggering Brexit begins, the human rights watchdog has said. David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), told a hearing of MPs he was worried the start of formally leaving the bloc could cause a backlash against EU citizens, similar to the period of increased hate crime that followed the EU referendum, and was calling on police to be prepared for such an eventuality. Theresa May has promised to trigger article 50 before the end of March but it could come earlier than that now she has set out her plans to leave the single market in order to secure immigration controls and remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European court of justice.
Amazon is working on self-driving cars, according to a new patent that deals with the complex task of navigating reversible lanes. The patent, filed in November 2015 and granted on Tuesday, covers the problem of how to deal with reversible lanes, which change direction depending on the bulk of the traffic flow. This type of lane is typically used to manage commuter traffic into and out of cities, particularly in the US. Autonomous vehicles, the patent warns, “may not have information about reversible lanes when approaching a portion of a roadway that has reversible lane”, leading to a worst-case scenario of them driving headfirst into oncoming traffic.
Renault reports record sales, expects further growth, despite emissions probe French carmaker Groupe Renault reported record sales for 2016, thanks to growth in Europe and in overseas markets such as India and Iran. It expects more progress this year. Sales rose 13.3 per cent last year and vehicles sold in 2016 topped 3.18 million vehicles – a sales record, it said. “Our strategy of product range renewal and geographic expansion, under way for several years now, has proven to be successful. It enables the Groupe Renault to progress significantly in terms of volume and market share in every region,” said Thierry Koskas, member of Renault’s executive committee, in a statement. Renault’s figures painted a similar picture to that of rival Peugeot which last week also reported higher sales, with the lifting of international sanctions against Iran boosting sales there.
Autonomous travel is coming to London in February as Nissan introduces modified LEAF models onto the streets. While debates about the benefits and pitfalls of self-driving technology continue, Nissan is preparing for the first on-road autonomous vehicle (AV) trials conducted in Europe. Safety and technology experts, as well as government officials, will be among the selection of passengers that are going to experience Nissan’s technology, in the company of technicians from Nissan’s UK office.