Time Up for UK Driving Licence Holders

The week begins in Spain with the publication of the commercial companies’ statistics for July, as well as the individual primary public financial statements of credit institutions for the second quarter. Outside our borders, a day of few references, with the exception of industrial production in Italy in July and Oracle ‘s business results in the US.

Time is up this week for UK driving licence holders living in Spain. You were granted an additional 6-month period to exchange your licence, and that period ends this weekend. If you are a resident in Spain and have a UK licence, you will no longer be allowed to drive in Spain. Driving without a licence in Spain is a criminal offence and can lead to prison. From this weekend, to exchange a UK licence for a Spanish one involves training and testing. This ruling does not affect tourists who are still allowed to drive, although other conditions apply.

In the UK, the week will begin with Michael Green, Sebastian Fox and Corinne Stockheath battling with Grant Shapps as to which one of them is best to make their debut as Defence Minister, after Shapps appeared unaware of the difference between the RAF and the Navy.

The UK will be reflective of the economic situation on Tuesday as employment and earnings data is published ahead of the latest monthly GDP estimate on Wednesday. One of the key takeaways will be how the current situation will have a bearing on the state pension next year as the figures are used to determine which of the Triple Lock measures is used to calculate payment increases.

Also in the UK there might be a few home bargains available at the start of the week as Wilko start their closure protocol on Tuesday, with hundreds of job losses the expected outcome.

The concrete farce will no doubt dominate the news once again, unless anything can be dragged out as a distraction, as Education Secretary Gillian Keegan speaks on Tuesday at the London launch of an OECD report on the recovery of education systems post-Covid, but the focus shifts to the use of RAAC in hospitals, housing estates and other public buildings.

Hospital death data is also published in the UK this week, and NHS performance data, which will no doubt prove grim reading, and will of course in no way distract from another report set to be released on the same day, the report into expenses claimed by MPs.

In the Eurozone, the week will begin with the update of the OECD’s macroeconomic forecasts, in a context in which Eurostat has revised downwards by 0.2 pp its preliminary estimate of the GDP growth of the European monetary area in Q2 to 0.1% quarter-on-quarter (vs. 0.3% in the first reading).

Following a debate on Monday, on Tuesday, MEPs will vote to adopt new legislation to increase the share of renewables in the EU’s final energy consumption to 42.5% by 2030, in line with the EU’s Green Deal and REPowerEU initiatives.

Although not directly related, following the introduction of the ULEZ scheme in London and may Spanish towns still dragging their feet on the mandatory implementation of Low Emissions Zones, which should have happened last year, MEPs will debate on Tuesday and vote on Wednesday on their position on stricter 2030 limits and target values for several pollutants to ensure that air quality in the EU is not harmful to human health, natural ecosystems and biodiversity. What is connected is global warming, and in a separate debate, dealing with weather phenomena will be in the EU spotlight also, specifically, this week, dealing with heatwaves and floods.

At 9.00 on Wednesday, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, will give her final State of the European Union address before the 6-9 June 2024 European elections, followed by a discussion with MEPs.

Finally, there is no doubt that every single newspaper and news outlet will join together this week to celebrate one common occurrence that will bring them all together under a banner of peace, love and harmony, as they will no doubt dedicate pages and hours to the fact that Prince Harry turns 39.