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Most new cars must be electric by 2030, ministers told

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Homes also need to be built to a higher standard, the Committee on Climate Change - the official watchdog - says. The government says the UK is cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation - and the committee agrees there has been a big shift under Theresa May. However, it says the UK will fall short of its ambitions unless ministers do more to turn pledges into reality. The warning comes less than a week after the prime minister launched a 25-year plan to protect the environment, including eradicating all avoidable plastic waste by 204... Read More »

Belgium sells 2.53 bln euros of short-term debt

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Yields on three-month paper rose to a negative 0.570 percent from a negative 0.621 percent last week. Paper expiring a year from now also rose compared to the last auction of 2017 to a negative yield of 0.546 percent. Investors have paid rather than received interest on holding Belgium's short-term borrowings for more than three years. ($1 = 0.8384 euros) ... Read More »

Belgium and the Netherlands swap land to change their national borders

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The area affected, which is the size of 27 football fields, sits of east of the Belgian city of Vise and west of the Dutch village of Eijsden and on the river Meuse.  As of 2018 the countries’ border now goes down the centre of the river Meuse, with the Netherlands taking control of just over 40 acres of new land, while Belgium adopts around 8 new acres. The change was made after a peninsula on the river gained a reputation for lawlessness because of the geographical difficulties policing it from the Belgian side, which on paper controlled it. ... Read More »

France plans privatisation law in asset sale push – PM

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The government outlined last year plans to sell stakes in order to finance a 10 billion euro (£8.9 billion) innovation fund. It has since reduced its minority stakes in energy group Engie and car maker Renault, and there has been speculation that Paris airport operator ADP and national lottery firm Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) are in line to be privatised. “There have already been some (asset sales) and there will be more,” Philippe said in an interview with Sunday paper JDD. Asked if the government would present a privatisation bill, a neces... Read More »

UK companies will face huge new VAT burden after Brexit

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More than 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay VAT upfront for the first time on all goods imported from the European Union after Brexit, under controversial legislation to be considered by MPs on Monday. The VAT changes spelled out in the taxation (cross-border trade) bill – one of a string of Brexit laws passing through parliament – are causing uproar among UK business groups, which say that they will create acute cashflow problems and huge additional bureaucracy. Labour and Tory MPs and peers said that the only way to avoid the VAT Brexit ... Read More »

Macron proposes anti-fake news election law

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Emmanuel Macron has said he will overhaul media law in France this year to fight the spread of  "fake news" on social media. Since he was elected last year, the French President has criticized Russian media in particular, openly accusing TV channel RT of sowing disinformation about him via its website and social media during the presidential election. "If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must have strong legislation," Mr Macron told a news conference on Wednesday. Mr Macron said the legislation would concern social media platforms,... Read More »

British passports will return to ‘iconic’ blue cover after Brexit, it is confirmed

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The new design, which will no longer include the European Union insignia, will replace the burgundy cover that has been a feature of the UK passport since the 1980s once Britain leaves the EU in 2019. Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis said the new passport will be the "most high-tech and secure we have ever seen", making it more resistant to fraud and forgery. ... Read More »

France to ban all oil and gas production from 2040

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France is to ban all drilling for oil and natural gas by 2040 after its Parliament approved part of President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to cut the use of fossil fuels. It will become illegal to produce or look for oil and gas in the country and its overseas territories. Existing drilling permits will expire in 2040 and, from today, no new ones will be granted. France is the first country in the world to pass such a law. The change is unlikely to have a significant impact, given 99 per cent of France’s oil and gas is imported from other countri... Read More »

First tax havens blacklist published by EU

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A "watchlist" of 47 countries promising to change their tax rules to meet EU standards has also been issued. The "grey list" includes several with UK links, including Hong Kong, Jersey, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, as well as Switzerland and Turkey. Both lists have been criticised as omitting the most notorious tax havens. The lists follow the leaking of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, revealing how companies and individuals hid their wealth from tax authorities around the world in offshore accounts. EU tax commissione... Read More »

Burton Mills: Germany to Post Budget Surplus

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Burton Mills: Projected budget surplus would be a win for Angela Merkel’s administration and the parties it hopes to form a coalition with. According to recent reports, Germany could announce a budget surplus of 14 billion euros this year. A budget surplus of this size would give Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party significantly more room to negotiate as it attempts to form a new coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats. Taipei, Taiwan- based investment house Burton Mills’ economists stated that the new budget projections we... Read More »

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