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EU 1) Leaving could reduce annual migration by 110,000

Border‘Britain could slash net migration by more than 110,000 a year if it leaves the EU, a report claims today. Campaign group MigrationWatch said the pressure on public services could be eased significantly by allowing in only the skilled workers the economy needs…The group’s chairman, Lord Green of Deddington, said: ‘Net EU migration now amounts to 180,000 a year. Work permits for EU citizens would substantially reduce net migration and its resultant pressure on our population and public services.’ – Daily Mail

  • Gove: the EU is not properly controlling immigration – Daily Telegraph
  • Now Bosnia, with unemployment over 40 per cent, applies to join the EU – Daily Mail
  • Carney discusses ‘risk premium’ of Brexit… – Daily Mail
  • …Deutsche Bank puts the frighteners on, too… – Daily Telegraph
  • …As do environmentalists – The Independent
  • Havering Council set to vote that we’re Better Off Out – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: How will Britain vote in the EU referendum? And how will you vote?

EU 2) Sixty per cent of migrants are coming for economic reasons, says EU Commissioner

‘Nearly two-thirds of the migrants now pouring into Europe should be deported as they are not asylum seekers, an EU boss said yesterday. European Commission chief Frans Timmermans claimed 60 per cent of the estimated 120,000 who came in December were instead economic migrants. His admission came as the Commission said the passport-free Schengen zone at the heart of the EU could be suspended for two years due to the crisis.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: Mark Field on Comment: Remaining in the EU is vital to our national security

EU 3) First Ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland oppose a June referendum

Union Flag‘Pressure is growing on David Cameron to delay the referendum on EU membership beyond June 23 after it was revealed that the first ministers of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all oppose a poll on that date. It comes as Jo Johnson, the science minister, has signalled that he will vote to stay in the EU.’ – The Times (£)

>Today:

>Yesterday: Andrew RT Davies on Comment: Wales needs new ideas, not Old Labour. And in a hundred days voters have the chance to make it happen.

After the Google scandal, we may never be told about the Treasury’s other tax deals

‘The public might never be told about Google-style sweetheart tax deals which HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reaches with internet giants such as Facebook and LinkedIn, it has emerged as fury grows over the secrecy surrounding the tax affairs of multinational companies. Both HMRC and George Osborne have come under fire over the agreement allowing Google to pay £130m to cover a decade of back taxes, which critics claim is an effective tax rate of just 3 per cent. The deal, which was hailed by the Chancellor as a “major success”, is paving the way for similar arrangements with other multinational companies.’ – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How Osborne could tackle the Fixed-term Parliaments Act and win a landslide

Hunt apologises for NHS helpline’s failure to spot baby’s deadly infection

NHS‘Jeremy Hunt today apologised on behalf of the NHS and the Government after a report found ‘serious failings’ led to the death of one-year-old William Mead. The Health Secretary said William was let down in the ‘worst possible way’ and said criticisms of the NHS 111 system had ‘national implications’. But he insisted the controversial telephone system was generally working well and had become ‘in some ways a victim of its own success’ after taking 12 million calls in the last year.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Judy Terry on Local Government: Will social workers finally be held accountable?

Ghani challenges jihadi brides – and expresses her concerns about the veil

‘She said: ‘This is no package-holiday deal. There is nothing but trauma for you at the other end. Being a jihadi bride is signing up to someone who might die at any moment… and you belong to him.’ Ms Ghani said she was worried by the number of girls choosing to cover their faces at younger ages, and deemed it inappropriate within schools or in legal settings. ‘For me the question is, “Why would you choose to wear a face veil?” I find it very hard to believe — as a feminist — that you want to cover up your face.’ – Daily Mail

  • Schools that allow the veil in class could be marked down – The Sun (£)
  • It’s ‘disrespectful’ to expect Muslims to adapt to British values, says Trevor Phillips – The Times (£)
  • Political correctness allows sexism to persist – Louise Casey, The Sun (£)
  • Anti-FGM law accused of failing to protect girls – The Times (£)
  • Rome covers nude statues to spare the Iranian president’s feelings – The Times (£)
  • Don’t fall for Putin’s lies about his ‘war’ on ISIS – Roger Boyes, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Nick Timothy’s column: Faith schools can bring our divided communities together

We’ve been frozen out by CCHQ, says Elliott Johnson’s mother

Elliott Johnson‘Mrs Johnson said her family had been frozen out by Tory HQ, which had given them no details about the inquiry into Elliott’s death and the bullying claims that is being conducted by law firm Clifford Chance. ‘They are probably thinking that if we silence them we will go away quietly, but we won’t,’ she told BBC Newsnight. ‘The Conservative Party have not been forthright in coming to speak to us in any way. Anything we’ve heard we’ve had to hear through the Press.’ – Daily Mail

  • Witnesses threaten to boycott investigation unless Semple is moved – Daily Telegraph

Hague: Trump, Sanders, Le Pen, Corbyn, Farage…what’s going on?

‘There is also an explanation that is much more substantial and concerning: that out there among the electorates of western nations there is some real anger and corrosive disillusionment. It is the same anger that has produced the rise to prominence of Marine Le Pen, Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage, the Greek far Left, and the second largest party in Italy being led by a comedian…such is the loss of faith in established leaders in some countries that they, or others like them in the next few years, are only one massive crisis away from winning power.’ – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Ministers retreat on FoI changes

Voices Grassroots‘Ministers are retreating from efforts to weaken freedom of information legislation after strong opposition made it likely they would lose a legislative battle to enact the changes…New legislation would be needed to enact the changes and this would give MPs who are in favour of further liberalising government information the opportunity to sabotage any bill, ministers fear. As a result Mr Cameron is likely to back off from making substantial changes to the FOI Act, settling instead for some minor technical amendments to protect government advisers.’ – FT

Finkelstein: Labour’s moderates should consider the SDP approach

‘Remaining a Labour MP would have meant, in the 1983 election, supporting a raft of policies that would have deeply damaged the country, under a leader unfit to be prime minister. And doing so in the full knowledge that this would be wrong for Britain. As David Owen put it recently: “It is necessary every now and then within every democratic system for some people to say ‘up with this I will not put.”The SDP was, in other words, very successful in one critical way and vital for Labour’s moderates to consider. Perhaps not now but in two years’ time or so. The SDP meant that moderates could run for election with honour, saying things they thought to be right.’ – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Chris Wilford on Comment: Don’t be complacent. Corbyn could win

Corbyn to address large anti-Trident march

Woolfie Corbyn‘Jeremy Corbyn will address an estimated 50,000 people in Trafalgar Square in the biggest anti-nuclear march for a generation as campaigners begin a “mass lobby” of MPs over Trident. With a parliamentary vote expected as early as March, MPs were approached in their constituencies over the weekend by Trident critics in a “coordinated” drive to convince them to scrap the nuclear deterrent. A mass email campaign is expected in the coming weeks to increase pressure on those MPs – especially in the Labour Party – who are undecided over renewal.’ – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • More floods on the way – Daily Telegraph
  • Bailey wins FCA job – FT
  • Rare victory for children’s author in Costa Book Award – The Times (£)
  • Rapper insists the Earth is flat – The Sun (£)
  • Was a Russian Twitter group behind school bomb scares? – Daily Mail
  • Trump will dodge the final debate before Iowa – FT
  • Konta is the first British woman for 33 years in a Grand Slam semi-final - Daily Telegraph
  • Former pupils of a London comp protest Old Etonian being invited to school event – Daily Mail
  • Whitehall seeks apprentices – The Times (£)
  • Revealed: ‘winning’ Lottery ticket that went through the wash – The Sun (£)

And finally…

Fist-bumping Sam Cam is on the Sport Relief Bake Off tonight

‘It certainly makes a change from whipping up a stew for David and the kids at No 10. Samantha Cameron can be seen in a rather more public – and high-pressured – kitchen tonight in the Great British Bake Off’s Sport Relief special. The Prime Minister’s wife, 44, is so relieved to be praised for her food that she punches the air and even fist bumps presenter Mel Giedroyc.’ – Daily Mail

 

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