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EU 1) Hammond: We’ll never fully control our borders inside the EU

EU Exit“In a forthright interview, Mr Hammond said ‘destabilising movements’ across Europe in recent years had seen ‘large waves of migrants’ settling in Britain, putting pressure on public services. He said Germany should realise that if we do not get new powers to at least limit the number of migrants from the Continent, British voters will choose to leave the EU in the 2017 referendum.” – Daily Mail

EU 2) Senior French source compares Cameron to hard-right Le Pen over EU budget stance

“The source said that Mr Cameron’s approach to the European Commission was wrong. “You can fight for your budget, you can put pressure on Europe, and be very tough on the commission. In that sense [Mr Cameron] is right… but it is nationalistic, even in the body language, to say, ‘It doesn’t suit us’. ” – The Times Red Box

EU 3) Matthew Parris: We can’t let Germany be über allies in Europe

“Without the UK, and as France slides towards the crash that alone will bring the French to their senses, Germany would stand isolated as overwhelmingly the greatest power in the EU. This, combined with the Germans’ role as fiscal disciplinarians cracking the whip over the southern Europeans, would for reasons too obvious to mention be a nightmare for Berlin. I myself believe German predominance would be the beginning of the end of the EU. It was entirely typical of John Major that he should leave his best, but crudest, argument unstated.” The Times (£)

  • Cameron backs Major over quitting EU – Daily Express
  • Blow for Prime Minister as Ireland admits strong opposition to migration curbs – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Sir John Major is right. We need a full time EU negotiator. Who should it be?

Cameron mocks ‘coward’ Putin for bringing battleships to Brisbane…

CAMERON Marr Europe“Speaking ahead of a crunch meeting between the pair at the global leaders’ summit in Brisbane, the PM said he was sure the Kremlin leader wouldn’t be in any danger. And he joked: “I didn’t feel it necessary to bring a warship to keep myself safe.” The comments are likely to infuriate the Kremlin – and go down a storm in Australia where politicians are livid that Russia has sent its fleet into the Coral Sea in international waters near the Gold Coast.” – The Sun (£)

…as he faces backbench revolt over Barnett Formula…

“David Cameron is facing a rebellion from 70 English Tory MPs next week calling for a review of the Barnett formula which gives Scots more public money than those living in England. The vote on Thursday next week comes on the day of the Rochester and Strood by election which the Conservatives are expected to lose to the UK Independence Party. The prospect is already leading critics to dub it the Prime Minister’s “black Thursday”.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Michael Kenny on Comment: The Conservatives and EVEL. Where’s the spirit of Edmund Burke?

…and new SNP leader says party could prop up Labour – and vows to keep the Tories out

snplogo“She will add: ‘Perhaps this time Scotland’s votes will count. Scotland could well hold the balance of power in a Westminster parliament with no overall majority.’ Ms Sturgeon will vow: ‘If that happens, I promise you this – you won’t need to have voted Labour to keep the Tories out, because that’s what we’ll do.” – Daily Mail

  • Referendum has done nothing to diminish SNP’s sense of destiny – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
  • Outgoing First Minister claims SNP could beat Labour in Scotland – The Guardian
  • Salmond’s parting shot – Scotland could leave UK of its own accord – The Independent
  • Sturgeon urges SNP to win at Westminster – Financial Times

Welfare bill cut by £1.3 billion

“Britain has slashed £1.3 billion from its welfare bill after a record number of people stopped claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. The drop in claims has saved taxpayers £25 million every week in in the last year, as 270,000 people fewer than expected claimed the main unemployment benefit. The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith welcomed the news, saying that the figure showed that the “dysfunctional welfare system” inherited from Labour was being reformed.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Jobs miracle sees employment hit record high – The Sun (£)
  • ‘Savage cuts’? You ain’t seen nothing yet – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
  • The Tories have won the economic argument but do British voters care? – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Outrage as hostile Argentina ‘milks’ UK foreign aid

Aid shield“Some 85 per cent of taxpayers said they did not want their money invested in Argentina because of its precarious finances. They also want Argentina to be booted out of the G20 for defaulting on its debts. Last year, under pressure from the UK,the World Bank effectively froze lending to Argentina due to its refusal to pay creditors and its aggressive foreign policy.” – Daily Express

>Today: Andy Silvester on Comment: It’s time to stop funding Argentina

Baroness Brady hits out at Farage claims about women in the workplace

“Businesswoman Karren Brady has criticised UKIP leader Nigel Farage over his claims some mothers are ‘worth less’ to employers than male colleagues. The star of TV’s The Apprentice – who last week took her seat as a Tory peer – said Mr Farage’s attitude made her ‘shudder’. Baroness Brady, who is David Cameron’s small business ambassador, spoke out at a meeting with entrepreneurs and bosses while campaigning in Rochester and Strood ahead of next week’s by-election.” – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: Labour is driving white van man into the arms of UKIP

charlesmoore“But what about the workers? It has become unfashionable to talk about “white van man”, but there seem to be as many white vans as ever on the roads and virtually every one of them, in my experience, is still driven by a man. I cannot think of a single reason why such a worker – private-sector, low-to-middling pay, white-British ethnicity, hopes of ownership, difficulties with mortgage, aspirations for children – should think that Labour understands him, offers him anything, or even likes him or what John Prescott used to call his “womenfolk”. His vested interest (he quite often wears a vest) will tend to make him vote for Ukip in Rochester and Strood next week.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Burnham accuses Farage of NHS ‘cover up’ in open letter – The Independent
  • UKIP are becoming a serious threat to Labour – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • When will paranoid Miliband realise his greatest enemy is himself – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • An Englishman in New York, David is having the last laugh – The Independent

>Yesterday: Tim Montgomerie in the ToryDiary: Ten reasons I won’t be joining UKIP

Miliband blasts Sports Direct over ‘Victorian’ hiring practices

“Ed Miliband will today accuse a major high street firm of ‘Victorian management practices’ for using zero-hours contracts for eight in ten of its staff. The Labour leader will lambast Sports Direct for employing so many of its 20,000-strong workforce on the contracts, despite many of them working regular shifts.” – Daily Mail

  • Eight in ten Sports Direct employees on zero-hours contracts – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Miliband starts rowing back on “zero zero Britain” after less than 24 hours

Lib Dem peer claims Lords is getting “bigger, staler and less legitimate” by the day

LORDS logo“Britain’s ageing House of Lords has just two peers under the age of 40, but 29 members who have turned 90, new analysis reveals. Amid fresh debate over whether peers should be axed in favour of an elected chamber, new figures show more than half of its members are over 70. Lib Dem peer Lord Tyler, who is 73, said it was proof Parliament is being used as ‘London’s best day centre for the elderly’ with ‘mediocre’ people clocking in for £300-a-day, tax free.” – Daily Mail

Lynne Featherstone joins calls to ban controversial pick-up artist from the UK

“Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone took the rare step of speaking out publicly to say she was lobbying Home Secretary Theresa May to refuse the self-styled dating coach a visa. Mr Blanc has been heavily criticised over £2,000-a-head seminars in which he is said to teach men sexually abusive and racist methods to attract women.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Gurkhas desperate to return home as Lumley campaign backfires – Daily Mail
  • Philae comet lander goes silent after running out of battery – The Times (£)
  • Leaves picked off Parliament’s trees… because it’s cheaper than raking them – Daily Telegraph
  • Ex-MI5 boss claims Prime Ministers “go mad” after ten years – The Sun (£)
  • Veteran robbed of medals accuses BNP of hijacking his ordeal – The Independent
  • Northampton unemployed outraged over sandwich company’s ‘insult’ – The Guardian

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