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Cameron makes the security case for the EU

EU Exit brexit“David Cameron invoked nuclear-armed rogue states, Russian aggression and barbaric jihadists last night as he made the security case for staying in the European Union. Speaking in Hamburg in the run-up to next week’s EU summit, the prime minister tried to shift attention away from wrangling over the details of his reform package to wider arguments for staying in the bloc. Standing beside Angela Merkel he said that Britain and Germany could bring the EU’s “economic might to bear on those who… threaten the safety of our people”.- The Times(£)

  • 13 Ministers to back Brexit – The Sun(£)
  • “I’m not isolated” says Ken Clarke – The Guardian
  • RBS boss backs EU membership – BBC
  • Cameron “to wheel out Obama” to make the case for the EU – Daily Mail
  • Greece faces ejection from Schengen zone – The Times(£)
  • Mass rally planned for mystery cabinet minister to come out for Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • US Senator questions value of the deal - The Sun
  • Farage says Leave EU could spend more than Vote Leave – The Guardian

Comment

  • Auditors refuse to sign EU budget for 21st year running after finding £4.5 billion misspent – Leader Daily Mail
  • Stay in the EU – Wayne Swan, former Deputy PM of Australia Daily Telegraph
  • Force Awakens – The Sun Says(£)

>Today: Mark Field MP on Comment: This Conservative Government’s foreign policy has already marked a break from the Coalition’s

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Pro-Remain Scare Story of the Week: The Prime Minister’s prediction of ‘The Jungle’ moving to Kent

Osborne accused of increasing tax burden….

OSBORNE octopus“George Osborne has been accused of breaching his promise of a “lower tax society” by raising the overall tax burden in the next few years in a move that will give him £50 billion extra in revenue. A report by MPs on the Treasury select committee highlights how the proportion of tax was 33 per cent of GDP in 2014-15 and will rise to 33.9 per cent in 2016-17. It will go up to 34.2 per cent of GDP in 2018 and stay at this level until the end of the parliament.” – The Times(£)

  • Millions face “retirement crisis” over tax raid – Daily Telegraph
  • Sex, scandal, power – at home with the Osbornes – The Times(£)
  • Tories in riot threat over pensions raid – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Osborne’s latest retreat on Short Money fits a pattern

…Oborne: Cameron should axe juggling George

“If David Cameron is really concerned about his legacy, he must now intervene and order his great buddy and confidant George to concentrate full-time on the day job. He must immediately take Osborne off his Europe brief. And he must order him to abandon his compulsive political plotting and scheming, much of it devoted to advancing his dream of becoming the next Tory leader. And he must then strip Osborne of his unofficial role as chief Tory strategist. If Osborne objects, the Prime Minister should make clear that he will find another Chancellor.” Peter Oborne Daily Mail

Police review Conservative spending on Newark by-election

Police shield“Nottinghamshire Police is considering evidence relating to accusations of overspending by the Conservative Party during the 2014 Newark by-election. The move follows claims by Channel 4 News that some bills were not included in local spending returns during the poll and two other by-elections. Labour’s defeated candidate in the Newark poll, which the Conservatives won, has called for an investigation. The Conservatives say all spending was recorded in accordance with the law.” – BBC

US urges Britain to keep Trident

“Britain must keep its Trident nuclear weapons system if it wants to play a significant role in the world, the US defence secretary has said. Ash Carter told the BBC it was an “important part of the deterrent structure of Nato” and allowed the UK to punch above its weight. MPs are expected to vote this year on whether to back government plans to renew the UK’s four Trident submarines. Labour is currently reviewing its support for the weapons.” – BBC

Hospitals “could refuse to impose Hunt contract”

Jeremy Hunt“Hospitals across the country could refuse to impose Jeremy Hunt’s new contract on junior doctors. The Health Secretary announced in Parliament on Thursday that he would “unilaterally” impose the new contract on junior doctors after they failed to reach an agreement over working hours and Saturday pay.” – The Independent

Sugar Tax shelved – again

“The government has scrapped plans to introduce a sugar tax as part of its long-awaited “obesity strategy”, but ministers will use the threat of a levy to force the drinks industry to make healthier products. David Cameron, who is understood to have rejected the proposal for a sugar tax of up to 20 per cent, is expected to unveil the strategy towards the end of the month. The prime minister recently warned that the government needed to tackle “an obesity crisis” because of its impact on heart disease and cancer rates.” – FT

Gibb welcomes deal with schools offered Penguin Classics at a £1 a copy

GIBB Nick smiling“Schools across the country are to be offered thousands of classic books at a discount price to help ensure children never miss out on reading the “great stories” of literature. In a special three-month deal, English secondary schools will be able to buy classics including Anna Karenina, Treasure Island and A Christmas Carol for just £1 a copy….Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said: “It is important that all pupils in secondary school are taught to read and enjoy challenging books from amongst the world’s greatest literature.” – Daily Telegraph

 The Independent embraces new challenges – closing as a printed title

“The Independent is to become the first national newspaper title to move to a digital-only future, owners ESI Media have announced. The move will capitalise on The Independent’s position as the fastest growing UK quality newspaper website, and will ensure a sustainable and profitable future.  Rapid digital growth in the past three years has made independent.co.uk the UK’s fastest-growing quality newspaper site. Its monthly audience has grown 33.3% in the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users. The site is profitable and is expected to see revenue growth of 50% this year.” – The Independent

  • Newspapers can still exist in the digital age – Leader The Times(£)

Parris: An ambitious but unnoticed tree planting project

parris“The aim is to raise the proportion of woodland from 6 per cent to about a third of the whole area. Amazingly, we’ve now passed the 20 per cent mark, with the Duke of Cambridge planting the eight-millionth tree in 2012. I say “amazingly” because though the grandest of grand projects, the National Forest gets only modest national publicity. Everyone has heard of HS2. The Canals and Rivers Trust gets good publicity. But the National Forest Company — maybe because it does not confiscate (does not even own) what it is shaping, but quietly negotiates agreements with farmers and landowners — has hardly crossed the media’s radar.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Interview with youth justice tsar Charlie Taylor – The Times(£)
  • Bercow claims £1,600 from the taxpayer for lunch – BBC
  • Shares bounce back – The Times(£)
  • Labour’s campaign to gain Bristol Mayoralty – The Guardian
  • Interest in running rail franchises “dwindling” MPs warn – BBC
  • Cut in number of MPs from 650 to 600 is confirmed – The Guardian
  • League tables for large firms to show gender pay gap – BBC
  • IEA’s mystery donation to stop taxpayer funded lobbying by charities – Independent

And finally…Truss takes up sausage offer

s216_Elizabeth-Truss“Liz Truss has taken up “one of the best offers she has had all year” – a sausage at a service station on the M5. To howls of laughter in the Commons, the environment secretary was promised a “warm welcome and a Gloucester Old Spot sausage” by MP Richard Graham if she ever visited Gloucester Services. The M5 stop-off spot aims to defy the usual reputation of a motorway services by offering upmarket organic fare.” – BBC

 

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