Germany disappointed by May’s Brexit plan, suggests second referendum

Britain and the EU sealed a divorce deal in November after months of tense negotiations, despite increasing opposition against Brexit. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Germany disappointed by May’s Brexit plan, suggests second referendum

  • ‘Yes, I’m disappointed ... that’s not the way forward’
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.

BERLIN: German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Tuesday she was disappointed by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to break a deadlock over Brexit and suggested Britain hold a second referendum.
May on Monday sought to break the parliamentary impasse over Britain’s exit from the European Union by proposing to seek further concessions from the EU on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.
“Yes, I’m disappointed ... that’s not the way forward,” Barley told Deutschlandfunk radio. She said May had missed an opportunity to drum up support for the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.
Barley, who has both German and British citizenship, said the draft deal would not be changed. But she added there could be leeway in terms of time if there was a second referendum. “This could pacify the situation,” she said.
Michael Roth, German minister for European affairs, also expressed his disappointment with May’s speech, saying on Twitter: “Where is the plan B? Just asking for a friend ...”
A German government spokesman said late on Monday that Germany continued to advocate for an orderly exit and that it expected the British government to agree soon on proposals that are backed by a majority of parliament.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.


Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai

Updated 27 min 12 sec ago
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Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai

  • Video shows Tesla S emitting smoke, bursting into flames
  • Incident comes as Tesla is trying to revive its sales in China

SHANGHAI: US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. on Monday said it had sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding.
The video was widely shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, with the hashtag “Tesla self-ignites” becoming one of the most-read topics on the platform, being viewed over five million times.
It showed a parked Tesla S starting to emit smoke from its bonnet before exploding and bursting into flames, damaging surrounding cars. A time stamp on the video showed that it occurred on Sunday evening.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the origins of the video, which Weibo users said was taken in Shanghai.
“After finding out about this incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent a team to the scene. We are currently contacting relevant departments to understand the situation. Based on current information, no one was hurt,” Tesla said on its official Weibo account.
The incident comes as Tesla has been trying to revive its sales in China which have been hit hard by Sino-US trade tensions.
The company currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but it is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai that will manufacture Model 3 cars in the initial phase and help it minimize the impact of the trade war and tariffs.
In March, Tesla also encountered a hiccup when Shanghai customs temporarily clearance for a batch of Tesla’s Model 3 cars citing a labelling issue.