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UK net migration falls to 244,000Back


UK net migration falls to 244,000

Net migration to the UK is estimated to have fallen by 29,000 to 244,000 in the year to last September, figures show. It is the second set of data from the Office for National Statistics since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016. The figure is still well short of the government’s target to reduce net migration to below 100,000. Net migration is the difference between people coming to the UK for more than a year, and the number of people leaving the UK for a year or more.


GUK economic growth revised down 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released British GDP figures that show the economy grew less than previously thought in the final three months of 2017. The British economy grew by 0.4% between October and December, which is below the preliminary estimate of 0.5%. Looking at GDP year-on-year, the revised growth of 1.4% was the weakest it had been in over half a decade.


Ford executive leaves over inappropriate behaviour 

The head of Ford’s US operations is leaving the company immediately following an internal investigation into inappropriate behaviour. The carmaker said its inquiry had concluded that some of Raj Nair’s conduct had been “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct”. Ford did not specify why the investigation was started nor what it uncovered. Mr Nair said in a statement that “I sincerely regret” certain behaviour.


Brexit: Theresa May heads to Chequers for cabinet talks

Theresa May and her senior ministers will try to hammer out a deal over the government’s approach to Brexit when they meet at her country retreat. The Brexit sub-committee gathers at Chequers with the government under pressure to spell out in detail what it wants to secure from Brexit talks. The UK has said it wants a “deep and special” partnership with the EU. But ministers have been at odds over how closely the EU and UK should align after exit day in March 2019.


The Financial Times


EU fines 7 companies €546m in auto parts, transport competition probe 

Brussels has fined seven companies €546m in total for their participation in cartels related to spark plugs, braking systems and maritime transport of vehicles, the latest in the ongoing crackdown on the car parts sector that has generated nearly €6bn in EU fines. Four companies — Chile’s CSAV, Japanese carriers “K”Line and NYK, and the Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-EUKOR — were fined a total of €395m for a cartel that fixed the bidding to maintain the traditional market share for the deep-sea transport of new cars, trucks and farming vehicles to and from Europe from October 2006 to September 2012. MOL avoided a fine of €203m by notifying officials about the cartel. Car parts makers Bosch and NGK were fined a total of €76m for coordinating pricing of spark plugs between 2000 and 2011 to avoid competing. Denso avoided a fine of around €1m by notifying officials about the cartel.


The Times


Vaping drivers risk losing their licence 

Motorists who smoke e-cigarettes while driving have been told they risk losing their licence if their vision is obscured by clouds of vapour. Police say that an e-cigarette will be treated the same as any handheld electronic device and anyone found using one at the wheel could face prosecution. It is up to a traffic officer to decide whether the motorist is paying full attention to the road. The penalty for driving without due care and attention is a fine of up to £2,500, three to nine points on a motorist’s driving licence or disqualification. Officers have warned that vaping could result in a fatal crash if the driver’s vision is masked by the clouds of vapour produced by some e-cigarettes.


Carney: good Brexit deal will be boost for growth

The Bank of England could upgrade its forecast for UK growth later in the year if the government strikes a deal with the European Union on the Brexit “end state”, the governor has signalled. Mark Carney said that the Bank’s November forecasting round would be key because Britain and the EU hope to agree terms for a final deal in October. “You would expect that could potentially have a material impact on the forecast,” he told MPs on the Treasury select committee.


The Guardian


German court to rule on city bans for heavily polluting diesel cars 

One of Germany’s top courts will rule on Thursday whether heavily polluting vehicles can be banned from the urban centres of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, a landmark ruling which could cause traffic chaos and dramatically hit the value of diesel cars on the country’s roads. Some 70 German cities have over the last year suffered from annual levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions above EU thresholds, with officials holding diesel cars responsible for 72.5% of the harmful levels of pollution. The environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) earlier this year sued nine German cities because it wants to allow municipalities to enforce clean air regulations by banning diesel cars from city centres.


The Daily Mail


Motorists could be charged for driving into town centres in 45 pollution hotspots after Michael Gove loses High Court ruling

Motorists  in the most polluted areas could be charged for driving into town centres after a judge ordered the Environment Secretary to take more drastic action to clean up the air. Suffering its third High Court defeat in just three years against environmental lawyers ClientEarth, the government was told its plans to improve air quality in 45 local areas are ‘unlawful’. Justice Garnham described plans for these pollution hotspots as ‘seriously flawed’ and piled pressure on environment secretary Michael Gove to do more. Ministers will now have to ensure 33 councils including Portsmouth, Plymouth City and Leicester City, draw up urgent plans to reduce pollution. This is because the remaining 12 are expected to comply with EU air quality regulations by the end of this year. The plan has to be published by October 5.


The Metro


Motorists who make rude hand gestures could get fined £1000

If you don’t then you might see yourself getting hit with a maximum £1,000 fine. Councillor supports campaign to ‘Bring Back the Golliwog’ That massive penalty would apply even for the smallest acts of aggression like a ‘rude hand gesture’. Sticking the middle finger up at someone who just cut you up would see you get prosecuted for ‘disorderly conduct’. This falls under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and is punishable with a penalty of up to three quarters of a person’s weekly salary. Earlier this week BBC presenter Jeremy Vine claimed he had witnessed up to 40 motoring offences on his daily commute by bicycle when he was questioned by the London Assembly Transport Committee.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 22/02/2018