Another blow for Cameron’s renegotiation plans…

CAMERON EU fence“European judges dealt a hammer blow yesterday to David Cameron’s attempts to crack down on the abuse of Britain’s visa system. … Strict rules forcing foreign family members of European Union residents to get a permit before visiting the UK were scrapped by the European Court of Justice. … The ruling by the court, which interprets EU law, also makes it less likely the Prime Minister will be able to renegotiate rules on freedom of movement.” – Daily Mail

  • “On Thursday a government spokesperson said it was ‘disappointed’ with the ruling and that ‘it is right to tackle fraud and the abuse of free movement rights’.” – Financial Times
  • “Almost 3,000 attempts to enter Britain are made each month by illegal immigrants, figures released by the Home Office have revealed.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “…in case after case, it is clear that the relationship between the EU and the UK is flawed and that Mr Cameron has just cause to fight for better terms.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “…a referendum in 2017 is the only way out. And only one main party offers it.” – Sun editorial (£)
  • “EU meddling opens our borders to abuse.” – Daily Mail editorial
  • “Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have ‘dropped off’ the Home Office’s radar.” – Nigel Farage, The Independent

…and could there be more to come?

EU Exit“Poland has warned that it will veto David Cameron’s plan to curb benefits paid to EU migrants in Britain. … Writing in The Independent, Rafal Trzaskowki, Poland’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, describes Mr Cameron’s proposals as discriminatory, unfair and illegal under EU rules on the freedom of movement. … Poland’s strong opposition is a big setback for the Prime Minister because reassuring the British public about EU migration will be a crucial aim when he negotiates a new deal for Britain ahead of an in/out EU referendum in 2017.” – The Independent

  • “David Cameron has accused Brussels of putting airline passenger lives at risk by stalling legislation that would enable the security services to monitor potential jihadists travelling across Europe.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “David Cameron and six other EU leaders have joined forces with European business leaders to try to inject new life into flagging talks on a trade deal between Europe and the United States.” – The Independent
  • “Millions of fat Brits will be able to sue their bosses for discrimination after an EU court ruling.” – The Sun (£)

And comment:

  • “Poland is open to dialogue, but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair.” – Rafal Trzaskowski, The Independent
  • “Welfare in Britain isn’t fair, as UKIP knows.” – Philip Collins, The Times (£)

We should stand up for freedom of speech, argues the Prime Minister in response to the Sony hack

CAMERON straight at you“David Cameron has appeared to criticised Sony Pictures for pulling a controversial film about the assassination of North Korea’s leader after cyberhackers threatened reprcussions if the movie was released. … The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Cameron gave a ‘very high importance’ to the principle of freedom of speech and said people should ‘never be shy’ about defending it when asked about the announcement.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Nick Clegg has suggested Sony was wrong to bow to North Korean ‘intimidation’ by cancelling the release of its controversial film The Interview in the wake of a hacking attack by agents working for the repressive regime.” – Daily Telegraph

And comment:

  • “A ‘cyber war’ sounds fantastical, but it’s real – and we’re losing.” – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  •  “The Sony leak unearthed juicy gossip, but the blackmailers must not win.” – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

SpAd controversy 1) May’s allies blocked from safe seats? Coverage of yesterday’s ConHome story

TIMOTHY Nick“A long running feud between the Conservative leadership and Theresa May burst into the open on Thursday when two senior advisers to the home secretary were removed from the party’s approved list of parliamentary candidates after they refused to campaign in the Rochester and Strood byelection. … In a letter leaked to the ConservativeHome website, Timothy wrote: ‘This decision cannot be valid because, as Theresa May’s chief of staff, I am bound by the code of conduct for special advisers.’” – The Guardian

  • “Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood was last night at the centre of claims that his office relaxed rules to allow Tory special advisers to campaign in the Rochester by-election. … The row erupted after Theresa May’s aides Nick Timothy and Stephen Parkinson were blocked as parliamentary candidates by Tory HQ.” – Daily Mail

> Today: ToryDiary – Two SpAds, Cameron, May, bad blood – and the short-termism of CCHQ

> Yesterday:

SpAd controversy 2) They’re everywhere and they’re costing more money

“Figures published yesterday show that there are now 103 so-called ‘spads’ working in Whitehall, at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £8.4million. … This is 17 per cent up on the £7.2million cost the year before, and much higher than the £5.9 million bill in Gordon Brown’s last year of power. … The number of special advisers is up on the 98 that were in place a year ago and 71 just after the Coalition took office.” – Daily Mail Continue to all today’s Newslinks