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News Brexit - Press releases

Monday's Business and Politics round-up

15 Apr 2019

Person reading the news on their smartphone on a train

Good morning!

Finland’s centre-left Social Democrat party has declared victory in the country’s general elections for the first time in twenty years. 

The results were extremely close, as the party’s 17.7% share of the votes was only a fraction more than the 17.5% won by the governing Centre Party. 

SDP leader Antti Rinne must now enter tricky coalition talks. This is the first time in almost a century that no party won 20% of the vote. 

Finland’s welfare system is set to be a major policy issue, with the country’s ageing population putting stress on its social welfare system. 


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I'll see it through

Cabinet contenders hoping to succeed Theresa May have reportedly urged her to stay Prime Minister into the autumn if she fails to get her Brexit deal through the Commons.
 
There are concerns that a leadership challenge over the summer months might result in Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab taking office. Both have said they would re-open the Withdrawal Agreement with EU negotiators. 
 
May had pledged to resign as leader once this stage of negotiations concludes, but the further Article 50 extension to October 31 and the on-going talks with Labour have placed new pressure on her.   
 
One source who supports a Cabinet rival said “We want a contest after this stage of Brexit has been sorted so we can talk about other things”, adding their campaign would be damaged if Brexit uncertainty loomed in the background.
 
Other Tories thought to be jostling for the leadership position include Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt.  

Child safety lock 

Social media companies could be hit with fines worth billions of pounds if they target children using ‘addictive’ features, under a new legally-binding code to be announced today.
 
Firms will be prohibited from using ‘sticky’ features such as auto-play, notifications and reward loops in videos and games, which encourage children to stay online for hours at a time.
 
The code will be policed by Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, under the Data Protection Act 2018. It grants her powers to fine companies up to 4% of their global turnover if they breach the code – equivalent to £1.65 billion for Facebook or £3.4 billion for Google. 
 
Denham has admitted there is no official evidence to prove addictive features damage children’s health and wellbeing, but cited a call by Britain’s chief medical officers for tech companies to use a ‘precautionary approach’ by removing them.
 
The code will also compel firms to bring in strict age checks on their websites and assume all their users are children. The code will be in force by December.  

Up, up and away!

Heathrow Airport had its 29th consecutive month of record growth in March, despite Brexit headwinds. 
 
Figure were pushed up by more passengers travelling to Africa and North America via the airport, which is London’s busiest. Traveller numbers to each were up by 5.8% and 4.9%, respectively. 
 
Passenger numbers to and from the EU increased by 2.9%, while overall passengers figures grew by 2.3% to 6.5 million. 
 
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, said “Despite Brexit uncertainty, Heathrow remains a bright light for the UK, with the role we play in keeping people and products moving evident”. 
 
The news comes in a month when Flybe confirmed it would charter Heathrow’s tenth domestic route with a flight to Newquay in Cornwall. Earlier in the month it announced a second London-Inverness route. 


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