Britain keeps gold-plated credit rating

A deal has been reached that could avert the threat of a strike by fuel-tanker drivers.

The Government welcomed proposals, drawn up last night, aimed at resolving the dispute.

Trade union Unite held talks last week with officials from six distribution companies under the chairmanship of the conciliation service Acas.

The details of the agreement will remain confidential until the parties involved choose to disclose them.

Peter Harwood, Acas's chief conciliator, said: "Over the past fortnight, the six contractors have met with the Unite trade union through the Acas conciliation service. Acas has been shuttling between the parties and the process has been a challenging one but we are pleased to announce that a set of proposals have been reached."

Unite had earlier been given an extension to a deadline for declaring strikes in the fuel-tanker-drivers dispute so that peace talks could continue.

Last month, the union announced that workers in five firms had voted to strike.

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