Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda has cancelled a multibillion-dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after two fatal crashes involving the plane, the company said, blaming passengers’ loss of trust in the aircraft. In what is thought to be the first formal cancellation for the model, Garuda spokesman Ikhsan Rosan said: “We have sent a letter to Boeing requesting that the order be cancelled. “The reason is that Garuda passengers in Indonesia have lost trust and no longer have the confidence” in the plane, he said, adding that the airline was awaiting a response from Boeing.
Oil rigs could soon be run on renewable energy and battery power under new plans to help the North Sea play its part in the energy transition. The industry’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, is preparing to lead a new project to forge closer links between the oil producers and wind farm developers operating in UK waters. – Telegraph.
No-deal contingency plans to safeguard medicine imports are set to be triggered on Wednesday, despite the potential delay to Brexit, with approved suppliers told to book space on the government’s emergency ferry service. Although the prime minister is to request an extension to article 50 which would postpone Britain’s departure from the EU, Whitehall will enact plans to ensure the flow of critical supplies should Dover be gridlocked after 29 March. - Guardian.
A committee of MPs has taken the highly unusual step of urging consumers to boycott the ticket resale firm Viagogo, criticising Google for promoting the website and calling for a review of laws against ticket touting. In a report on the live music industry, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee criticised Viagogo for “misleading” consumers, many of whom stumbled upon the site via paid-for ads on Google. – Guardian.
Theresa May secured the backing of some staunch Brexiteers for her deal after personally lobbying MPs but last night remained significantly short of the number she needs to win a vote this week. Esther McVey, the former work and pensions secretary who quit over Brexit, confirmed her support yesterday after hinting late last week that she could back the deal. - The Times.
Britain has signed a post-Brexit trade deal with the Pacific islands of Fiji and Papua New Guinea, as the government rushes to sign as many agreements as possible before 29 March. The Department for International Trade said the agreement would maintain access to goods including sugar and fish imported from the islands 10,000 miles away. Total trade between Britain and the region is worth about £369m a year. – Guardian.
Facebook is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors examining its data-sharing deals with other major technology companies, according to the New York Times. A New York grand jury has subpoenaed records from “at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices”, the Times reported, citing two unnamed sources. –Guardian.
Boeing and the US aviation authorities have come under increasing pressure to ground the 737 Max despite repeated reassurances as the European Union and numerous other countries halted flights and Donald Trump weighed in following a second fatal crash involving the plane in less than five months. US regulators, airlines and the manufacturer have become increasingly isolated in maintaining that the plane is safe. - Guardian.
Growing numbers of British companies are preparing to cut jobs or put hiring plans on hold as Brexit uncertainty intensifies, in the latest sign of stress on the economy. In an indication that Britain’s long jobs recovery since the financial crisis is gradually running out of steam as Brexit nears, IHS Markit said UK employers’ staff-hiring intentions had reached a six-year low in February. – Guardian.
Theresa May has been urged by senior Conservative MPs to pull tomorrow’s meaningful vote on her Brexit deal if she fails to secure significant concessions from Brussels. In phone calls with Downing Street, leading Tories in the Commons warned that the prime minister could face another three-figure defeat if she went ahead with her plan. - The Times.
Global banks have been forced to trigger emergency plans to stop EU companies hitting trading problems if Britain crashes out of the bloc without a deal this month. With MPs potentially voting this week on whether to leave the EU without a deal, banks are warning that most of their large EU clients are underprepared and could be blocked from accessing trillions of pounds’ worth of crucial trading services in just a few weeks. - Sunday Times.
Theresa May will make a last-ditch attempt to persuade the EU to give her a better Brexit deal on Friday, as she struggles to hold her crumbling government together following a day of cabinet embarrassments in Westminster. The prime minister will plead with EU leaders to offer further concessions, as it became clear that talks in Brussels have stalled and hardline Eurosceptics in her party are likely to vote down the deal for a second time in parliament next week.
Theresa May’s Cabinet is resigned to her Brexit deal being defeated by up to 100 votes next week after talks in Brussels collapsed without progress on Wednesday. Downing Street is already making plans for a third “meaningful vote” on the deal on the assumption that Tuesday’s vote is lost, and Mrs May is considering making a major speech on Friday to plead for support from MPs. - Telegraph.
More than 8 million UK adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society, according to a major report which claims that the country’s “cash infrastructure” is in danger of collapsing. With Britons increasingly turning to digital payments, and bank branches and ATMs closing, the Access to Cash Review said companies and organisations providing “essential” services should be required to ensure that consumers can continue to pay by cash. – Guardian.
Carlos Ghosn has been granted bail by a court in Japan, more than three months after the former Nissan chairman was arrested over allegations of financial misconduct. The Tokyo district court set bail at 1bn yen ($9m) after a request last week by Ghosn’s newly appointed legal team, Kyodo news agency reported. – Guardian.
Left-behind towns in England are to get a £1. 6bn funding boost as part of a package of measures to win support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal among Labour MPs, who said the new cash would not buy their votes. Labour MPs including Lisa Nandy and Gareth Snell who have signalled they might back May’s deal criticised the approach and said the cash would do little to tackle the effects of austerity. – Guardian .
Barclays’ former chief executive has defended a 2008 Qatari investment as key to the bank’s global ambitions but distanced himself from negotiations that led to a complex agreement that is at the heart of a criminal trial. A jury at Southwark crown court was read statements from three of the four defendants facing charges, including the former chief executive, John Varley. The statements were originally issued to Serious Fraud Office investigators in 2014. – Guardian.
British car production declined for the eighth month in a row in January as output bound for China plunged by more than 70%. The car industry is struggling with multiple headwinds, including falling demand in China, a regulatory backlash against diesel vehicles in Europe and continued uncertainty over Brexit, which has put the brakes on investment in the UK. – Guardian.
Retail workers in Britain are more likely to face unemployment rather than finding another job amid mounting numbers of job losses on the high street, with younger staff hardest hit, according to a report. The study by the Resolution Foundation thinktank found the retail industry now has the highest rate of redundancies of any sector of the economy, amid the rapid rise of shop closures across the country. – Guardian.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday asked a judge to hold Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, in contempt for violating last year’s settlementwith the federal agency. Shares of Tesla fell about 5% in extended trading. The regulator pointed to Musk’s 19 February tweet saying “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019”, noting that Musk did not seek or receive pre-approval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people.