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Archive for December, 2018

UK retail sales in November jump more than expected

December 20, 2018

Retail sales jumped more than expected in November, helped by Black Friday promotions and stronger growth in sales of household goods. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said sales rose 1.4% from October, despite economists’ forecasts of about a 0.3% gain. But for the quarter to November, which smoothes out monthly volatility, sales […]


Andrea Leadsom and Amber Rudd suggest rival Brexit ‘Plan Bs’

Cabinet colleagues Andrea Leadsom and Amber Rudd have set out rival plans if Theresa May can’t get her Brexit deal through Parliament. The two ministers stressed that their top priority was securing Parliamentary backing for the prime minister’s deal. But Ms Rudd said a referendum was a “plausible” way forward if MPs were deadlocked. Mrs […]


What’s the recipe for a Christmas number one?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – yes, Christmas is nearly upon us again. But wait! Before we get ready to jingle our bells and eat too many chocolates, the burning question of which song will make it to Christmas number one remains unanswered, until it’s announced on 21 December. The BBC data […]


Crown Dependencies try to shake off EU ‘tax haven’ tag

Britain’s Crown Dependencies are home to 76,000 companies – slightly fewer than one for every third person living there. It is many of these companies that will now have to prove their presence in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man is not merely a tax-dodging exercise. New measures mean there is further onus on […]


Third of rare Scotch whiskies tested found to be fake

More than a third of vintage Scotch whiskies tested at a specialist laboratory have been found to be fake, BBC Scotland has learned. Twenty-one out of 55 bottles of rare Scotch were deemed to be outright fakes or whiskies not distilled in the year declared. The tests were conducted at the East Kilbride-based Scottish Universities […]


Fed raises rates despite Trump opposition

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates again, in spite of warnings from Donald Trump against the move. Officials at the US central bank voted to lift the Fed’s key interest rate by 0.25%, to a target range of 2.25%-2.5%. But they also said future increases could come at a slower pace amid concerns about […]


Syria conflict: Trump’s withdrawal plan shocks allies

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria has been met with strong criticism. Mr Trump made the announcement on Wednesday, asserting that the Islamic State (IS) group had been defeated. But major allies, including senior Republicans and foreign powers, have disputed the claim and say the move could lead to a […]


Gatwick Airport: Drone sightings cause delays

Tens of thousands of passengers at one of the UK’s busiest airports are experiencing flight disruption after drones were seen over the airfield. Gatwick’s runway remains closed after two of the devices were seen nearby. Flights are unable to take off or land and Gatwick said 110,000 passengers on 760 flights were due to use […]


Uber loses latest legal bid over driver rights

Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed. In 2016 a tribunal ruled drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage. That ruling has now been upheld by the Court of […]


UK High Streets ‘have twice as many shops as needed’

Britain has twice as many shops as it needs, according to the author of a report looking at how to revive the nation’s High Streets. Retailer Sir John Timpson said local councils must be given more money to turn town centres into communities and meeting places. Sir John told the BBC revival should be a […]


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