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Fresh battle looms over voting age in EU referendum
Parliament is heading for a showdown between the Commons and the Lords this week over letting 16- and 17-year-olds vote in Britain’s referendum on EU membership. Attempts by Labour to enfranchise younger voters for the plebiscite have already been defeated three times in the House of Commons — by 50 votes on the last occasion. Yet an alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrat and crossbench peers has repeatedly thwarted the government’s will in the upper house. Labour argues that giving the vote at 16 for all elections is “an idea whose time has come”.
Most routes to be cleared of roadworks for Christmas
The majority of roads across England should be free from roadworks just in time for the great Christmas getaway, the Transport Secretary has pledged. Highways England aims to lift around 400 miles of roadworks by 6am on Wednesday, December 23, meaning most of the road network should be clear for the millions of families travelling by car for the holidays. The yearly open road scheme, which will see 148 projects either paused or completed, means 98 per cent of routes should be free from delay-inducing improvement works. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the hope is that “hardworking people (can) travel around freely at Christmas time and see friends and family”.
The Daily Telegraph
Disclosure bolsters £30bn case against Volkswagen
Volkswagen’s admission of a decade-long culture that tolerated misconduct strengthens a €40bn legal claim it is facing over the emissions scandal. The German car group faces the record-breaking class action being organised by legal funding group Bentham over losses investors have suffered as a result of VW deliberately cheating pollution controls.
Revealing early findings of probes into how the scandal took place, VW chiefs said last week that as early as 2005 a “culture of misconduct” existed at the auto maker, meaning that when engineers could not meet pollution targets they took the decision to cheat the tests.