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Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead
Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled. The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing, although this is expected to happen in time for the government’s 31 March deadline.
Reading out the judgement, Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger said: “By a majority of eight to three, the Supreme Court today rules that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament authorising it to do so.”
UK economy grows by 0.6% in fourth quarter
The UK economy grew 0.6% from October to December, maintaining the rate of growth of the previous quarter. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that a feared slowdown in the UK economy as a result of Brexit has not shown up in official data. For 2016 as whole, the economy grew by 2%, down from 2.2% in 2015. The quarterly growth figure was slightly better than the 0.5% rate most economists had expected.
“Strong consumer spending supported the expansion of the dominant services sector,” the ONS said. “Although manufacturing bounced back from a weaker third quarter – both it and construction remained broadly unchanged over the year as a whole.”
Over 100 million electric cars expected to hit the roads in next two decades
More than 100 million electric cars will be on the world’s roads within the next two decades, according to new research by Energy giant BP. It said it expects massive growth in plug-in car numbers, from about 1.2 million in 2015 to some 100 million by 2035 as the cost of battery technology plummets. The forecast, in its annual report on future trends in world energy, also represents a big increase on the estimate of 70 million by 2035 that it made just a year ago. Despite this, electric cars will still account for just six per cent of the total number of cars in the world, which is forecast to double to 1.8 billion by 2035.
Source: The Daily Mirror
Nissan’s Sunderland plant wins out in UK local funding allocation
The government has kept its promise to support the growth of Nissan’s Sunderland car plant but has cut potential funding for other business projects in the north-east of England. The north-east’s Local Enterprise Partnership is believed to have bid for about £150m of the £556m the government allocated to the north of England in the Autumn Statement.
However, it has been awarded only £49.7m, of which the lion’s share of £42.2m has been earmarked for just one project: the development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), next to Nissan’s factory. The park, a proposed base for high-tech industries and advanced manufacturing, is expected to attract more than 5,000 jobs and bring in more than £300m of private sector investment during the next decade.
Source: The Financial Times
Cars in France must display pollution rate sticker
British drivers travelling to France will be hit with fines of up to £116 if they fail to display an emissions sticker detailing how much their car pollutes.
Under the Crit’Air scheme, all vehicles driving in Paris and other major French cities will be required to grade their emissions on a scale of one to six. Any vehicle manufactured in 1996 or earlier will be banned from the capital between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. The measures were introduced after Paris recorded several severe smog spikes over the past two months, prompting traffic restrictions and free public transport.
Source: The Times
Automotive News Issues ‘NADA 100’ Special Edition
NADA is celebrating its 100th anniversary and Automotive News has marked the achievement with a 132-page commemorative edition that examines NADA from its origins to its future. The issue includes stories about NADA’s early visionary leaders, its biggest personalities, its involvement in World War II and how its influence helped make the Interstate Highway System a reality. Other features: columns by past chairmen and politicians, a chronicle of NADA’s history of generous giving, the evolution of the annual convention and expo, and a look at the future of the franchise system. Click here for the special edition.
Source: Automotive News
Faith in driverless car is growing, says NFDA Trusted Dealers
UK drivers are becoming more accepting of driverless car technology, with half of motorists saying they would consider travelling in a self-driving vehicle, according to NFDA Trusted Dealers.
A survey of 2,000 UK drivers compared public attitudes towards autonomous vehicles from 2015 to 2016 and found that people are now more open to travelling in driverless cars than in 2015, when just one third (34%) were willing to travel in an autonomous vehicle, compared to half of UK drivers polled in 2016.
Neil Addley, managing director of NFDA Trusted Dealers, said: “While there is still a long way to go before vehicles become truly autonomous, it is encouraging to see a positive shift in the public’s attitude towards the technology. The direction of travel is moving towards driverless vehicles becoming a part of our everyday life and the software will make important steps towards improving safety and the well-being of road users, as well as reducing congestion.
“Twenty years ago I’m sure we would have been widely against the ideas of sharing our personal information online, letting smartphones track our every move and entrusting our files and documents to cloud-based systems, so it’s very likely driverless cars will continue to see the same shift in attitudes.”
Source: AM Online