Sajid Javid has overturned Lancashire council’s rejection of a fracking site, paving the way for shale company Cuadrilla to drill in the county next year and provoking outrage from local groups, environmentalists and politicians. The council cited visual impact and noise when it turned down the company’s two planning applications to frack on the Fylde last year, but a month later Cuadrilla submitted an appeal. On Thursday, the communities secretary, Javid, said he had accepted the appeal for one of the sites, at Preston New Road. The move marks a major step up in the scale of exploratory fracking in the UK, as it green lights four wells compared to the single well approved for fracking in North Yorkshire earlier this year. “Shale gas has the potential to power economic growth, support 64,000 jobs, and provide a new domestic energy source, making us less reliant on imports,” said Javid. “We will take the big decisions that matter to the future of our … [Read more...] about Fracking given UK go-ahead as Lancashire council rejection overturned
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Jaguar Land Rover will halt production at British factories for a week in November, joining BMW and Toyota in staging a shutdown to mitigate potential disruption from a no-deal Brexit. Speaking a day after Michael Gove said the automotive industry was ready for no deal, the JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, said the company had no choice but to stop production lines at four facilities. “We cannot think about it, we just have to do it,” he said during an event at JLR’s engineering and development site in Gaydon, Warwickshire, to mark the opening of an advanced product creation centre. “I need 20 million parts a day and that means I have to make commitments to my suppliers. I have to have every and each part available and I have to have it just in time,” he said. JLR is among several carmakers that have repeatedly voiced grave concerns about the impact a no-deal Brexit would have on their industry. In particular, they have warned of disruption to the … [Read more...] about Jaguar Land Rover to shut down UK factories for a week in November
Michel Barnier will inform EU capitals on Wednesday whether there is a deal on the table for leaders to sign off at their summit in Brussels the following day. The EU’s chief negotiator has set Boris Johnson a midnight ultimatum: make a further concession or go to the Commons empty-handed. Are we close to a deal? The prime minister has made a series of major U-turns in recent weeks. That gives EU officials some hope that he will continue in this vein and a deal could be in the making. If Downing Street thinks it is a step too far, and reverts to the bellicose language of Johnson’s senior aide, Dominic Cummings, then all bets are off. What does the EU want? Barnier has said the UK needs to table legal text, and it needs to be based on the February 2018 Northern-Ireland-only backstop. That proposal – rejected by Theresa May as a constitutional outrage that no British prime minister could accept – would keep Northern Ireland in the single market for goods and the … [Read more...] about Barnier’s midnight ultimatum for the UK: what happens now?
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Michel Barnier dramatically upped the stakes in the Brexit end game today as he set a midnight deadline for the EU and UK to have agreed a divorce deal. Downing Street has refused to sign up to the proposed cut-off point for a legal text to have been finalised as it said Britain would continue to work to get a deal done 'as soon as possible'. Mr Barnier believes a blueprint must be agreed by close of play this evening if there is to be any chance of a deal being signed off by European leaders at a crunch EU summit on Thursday and Friday. If no accord can be struck within the next 48 hours then the focus of that summit in Brussels - the final one scheduled before the October 31 divorce date - will shift to whether to offer the UK a delay. Below are all of the answers to all of the key questions as Brexit enters its most volatile phase yet. When does Michel Barnier believe a … [Read more...] about Will the UK meet Michel Barnier’s midnight Brexit deal deadline? And what will happen if no agreement has been hammered out before a crunch EU summit starts on Thursday?
Angela Merkel has highlighted the economic danger posed by Britain if it is allowed to become a Singapore-on-Thames as Boris Johnson’s Brexit envoy outlined a plan to ditch the UK’s commitments to stay aligned to the EU’s social and environmental standards. In talks with European commission officials, the prime minister’s negotiator, David Frost, insisted that the UK is seeking a “clean break” from an array of the bloc’s regulations, a policy choice from the new British government that has caused alarm in other EU capitals. As the UK’s new vision was laid out in Brussels, the German chancellor, speaking in the Bundestag, said she was determined to strike a deal with Johnson but that a no-deal Brexit could not be ruled out. Merkel also warned of the economic threat that the UK could pose. Johnson had privately told EU diplomats during his time as foreign secretary of his desire to build a “buccaneering” Britain, which has been … [Read more...] about Merkel warns of danger to EU of Singapore-style UK on its border