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EU 1) The Prime Minister urges MPs to ignore eurosceptic grassroots members

CAMERON Remain‘David Cameron has prompted anger by telling his MPs to ignore the views of eurosceptic grassroots members and Conservative associations ahead of the European Union referendum. The Prime Minister warned backbenchers not to take a view on the vote “because of what your constituency association might say”. He told his MPs to “do what’s in your heart” rather than what “might be advantageous this way or that way”.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today:

>Yesterday: 

EU 2) Sovereignty pitch aimed at wooing Boris…

‘David Cameron is expected to win the eleventh-hour backing of Boris Johnson, the charismatic mayor of London, in his fight to keep Britain in the EU by promising a new UK sovereignty law. Mr Johnson, one of Britain’s best known politicians, has in recent weeks hinted he might support a British exit, but he has struck a deal with Mr Cameron to secure his support. The prime minister will publish plans making clear that the British parliament is sovereign, possibly echoing the German model where judges in Karlsruhe determine whether EU law infringes on the German constitution.’ – FT

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: Cameron’s constitutional coney. Woundwort, Cowslip…or Roger Rabbit?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The gap between what Cameron asked for and what he got

EU 3) …as the Mail asks: Who will speak for England?

EU Exit brexitAs for figureheads, yes, there is the magnificent Lord Lawson. But he is 83. And yes, the other great Eurosceptic Nigel, Mr Farage, is a charismatic tub-thumper…But he is also divisive, and is seen by many as a clown. Voters deserve better than this. They are crying out for an informed and lively debate on the crucial issues…What are the Cabinet Eurosceptics so afraid of that prevents them from speaking out? Is it really only their career prospects? If so, that’s contemptible. It’s also foolish.’ – Daily Mail Leader

>Today: The Risks of Remain 3) Even less control and democracy

EU 4) Welfare deal comes under fire as it emerges some migrants would get more child benefit

‘David Cameron faced a blistering backlash from Tory MPs last night as his ‘deal’ to curb immigration spectacularly unravelled. The Prime Minister tried desperately to defend his referendum stitch-up with Brussels – which he insisted would make the country ‘stronger and better’. Incredibly, the small print of the draft deal reveals that some overseas workers – far from losing their child benefit altogether – would receive even more.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: People expected a climb-down, but the renegotiation delivered an abject surrender

>Yesterday:

Cameron: We will double our aid for Syrian refugees

Aid shield‘I hope we can deliver billions of dollars more at the conference tomorrow than was raised in the entirety of last year. Britain will play its part. We are already the world’s second biggest bilateral donor to the region, and we will now more than double our total pledge to over £2.3bn – committing twice as much this year as last. But if remaining in the region is to be a viable option for Syrian refugees, we need to move beyond short-term disaster relief.’ – David Cameron, The Guardian

Fall in home ownership among under-35s

‘The number of young homeowners has plummeted by nearly 300,000 over the past five years, it has emerged. There are now 280,000 fewer properties in England owned by someone under the age of 35, according to figures compiled by the independent Commons library. Over the same period from 2010 to 2015, there were 39,000 more properties owned by someone older than 35.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Richard Connolly on Local Government: To solve the housing crisis we need to start by breaking the ‘deposit barrier’

Are the Conservatives still the party of business?

conservativetree‘Among the measures being considered in the Treasury is a shake-up of pension tax relief that could bring in billions of pounds at the expense of high earners. Officials within Downing Street are discussing a new “sugar tax” on the drinks industry. Executives are nervous about the potential for other new burdens. Terry Scuoler, chief executive of the Engineering Employers Federation, says none of the “additional costs” imposed since last summer are outrageous on a standalone basis. “What I would say, though, is that we need reassurance from the chancellor that this is not the thin end of a thickening wedge,” he says. “If Ed Miliband had announced all of this there would have been business voices saying, ‘this is anti-business, this is ideologically driven’.”’ – FT

Hunt: Unpatriotic Labour must reconnect with England

‘Labour is seen as unpatriotic and will not win another election until it learns to ‘embrace’ England, a senior MP warns today. In a devastating analysis, former education spokesman Tristram Hunt says voters at the last election ‘felt we didn’t value England, and were not on the side of the English’. Mr Hunt, a former TV historian, warns that many floating voters ‘feel that Labour no longer represents them, or understands their lives’.’ – Daily Mail

Labour: Union changes will cost the Party £8 million a year in lost donations

Labour holes‘Party officials had calculated that Labour faced losing up to £6 million a year under the plan, which will cut the amount it receives from the political funds raised by the biggest unions. Its latest internal analysis has found that the potential losses could reach £8 million a year, representing about a quarter of its total income.’ – The Times (£)

Aaronovitch: What future scandals are we currently neglecting?

‘We change our minds, and it sometimes takes far too long to change them. Ideas that seem sensible — eugenics, social Darwinism, electric-shock therapy, lobotomies, asylums — turn out to be barbarous. But what should worry us is the crimes, akin to those reported by The Globe, that are happening right now. What do we really know, for example, about the scale of forced marriages, coerced women and domestic violence in closed communities? What about the abuse of the disabled by carers in institutions or by families in their own homes? How scandalised are we about what is happening to migrant workers? I don’t know and yet, if I think about it hard enough, I probably do know.’ – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

  • Met to tell widow that Brittan was innocent – The Times (£)
  • Plebgate detective cleared of misconduct – Daily Telegraph

Trump proves to be a sore loser

TRUMP hair‘Donald Trump accused rival Ted Cruz of committing voter fraud in order to win the Iowa caucuses on Wednesday, insisting that the results of the election should be “nullified”. Mr Trump made the allegations two days after Mr Cruz, a firebrand Texas senator, defied polls and predictions to defeat the billionaire property mogul in Iowa…”Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated,” he added. A previous entry said that Mr Cruz “illegally stole” the election, but that post was quickly deleted.’ – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Assange could be arrested this week – Daily Telegraph
  • Interest rates decision day – FT
  • Portuguese TV confuses David Cameron with James Cameron – The Sun (£)
  • Self-driving cars to arrive on the Isle of Man – Daily Mail
  • Oxford University helped to fund anti-Rhodes campaign – Daily Telegraph
  • Cancer care changes save thousands – The Times (£)
  • How Putin could over-run the Baltic in three days – Daily Mail
  • 38 Degrees founder denies the group is left-wing – FT
  • Age UK accused of promoting unduly costly energy to the elderly – The Sun (£)

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