May leads tributes to those killed in the Westminster Bridge attack

“Police stood shoulder to shoulder as they honoured their colleague Keith Palmer as the Prime Minister led tributes to the five people who lost their lives in the Westminster Bridge attack. Officers fell silent near to the spot where PC Palmer was murdered as they lay flowers and wiped away tears at a special vigil for the victims. Theresa May pledged to remember them and stand ‘in defiance of those who would seek to silence our democracy.’ MPs observed a minute’s silence in the House of Commons this morning before Theresa May laid flowers near the site where Pc Keith Palmer and four innocent pedestrians were killed. Speaker John Bercow asked members in the House of Commons chamber to pause ‘in respectful memory’ of those who died on March 22 last year.” – Daily Mail

  • Ellwood ‘breaks down’ as he remembers events – The Times
  • UK insurance against terror attacks upgraded – FT

Prime Minister to urge MPs to back Heathrow expansion

“Theresa May will ask MPs to kick-start Brexit and back the £15billion expansion of Heathrow in a Commons vote this June. Sources yesterday told The Sun the Government has finally committed to putting the plans before the House in the belief a majority of MPs now back a third runway. A vote in favour of the project in three months’ time will allow Heathrow to finally proceed with a detail design of the flagship development and seek planning approval. Ex-PM David Cameron promised a decision on Heathrow by the end of 2015 – before stalling in the face of a backbench rebellion. The Government delayed again in 2016 after the Referendum vote.” – The Sun

  • MPs say runway must have noise and cost safeguards – FT

More May:

  • New Downing Street unit to promote female entrepreneurship – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Heathrow’s engines rev up

Hancock warns that Facebook could face billions in future fines

“Facebook could be fined more than £1billion if it breaks new data protection laws, Matt Hancock warned today. The Culture Secretary said the measure was at the heart of a package of reforms that would help Britain lead the world in setting the terms on how social media giants operate. Mr Hancock set out plans today to end the ‘Wild West’ of the internet in which the biggest social media firms set the rules on how they collect and use private data. But speaking at a Westminster lunch, Mr Hancock refused to say whether he would keep his own Facebook account after revelations user data was misused by Cambridge Analytica as part of political campaigns.” – Daily Mail

  • British Government could pull all its Facebook adds – The Sun
  • Advertisers begin to boycott Facebook – The Times

More Hancock:

  • Culture Secretary hits trouble on own app – The Times
  • Hancock attacks Watson over Mosley – The Sun


  • The poison in politics runs deeper than dodgy data – Gary Younge, The Guardian
  • Let’s remake the case for capitalism – Lee Rowley MP, Times Red Box


>Yesterday: JP Floru in Comment: People only moan about the use of Facebook data when it is used by campaigns they dislike

Brexit 1) EU prepares to take action against Russia over Salisbury

“Russia’s spy networks across Europe were under threat last night as at least five EU countries prepared to follow Britain and expel diplomats, while the European ambassador to Russia was recalled. The moves, in response to the Salisbury poisoning, came as Theresa May appeared to have won a battle to unify all 28 countries behind a statement blaming Moscow for the attempted murder of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Last night Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, issued a statement on behalf of its members saying that it supported the British government’s assertion that it was “highly likely” Russia was responsible and that there was “no plausible alternative explanation”.” – The Times

  • Corbyn refuses again to blame Russia for poisoning – The Sun
  • Putin’s espionage network in Europe at risk – Daily Telegraph
  • Kremlin hits back at Johnson’s ‘unacceptable’ Hitler comparison – The Sun


  • Russia is ready to fight, but are we? – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Europe needs a collective defence strategy to counter Moscow – Guy Verhofstadt, The Guardian


  • London deserves Brussels’ support against Moscow – The Times

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: How to show Putin we are taking the Salisbury attack seriously

Brexit 2) EU leaders ‘set to agree transition’

“European leaders will on Friday agree to extend Britain’s de facto EU membership until the end of 2020, backing a transition deal to smooth the implementation of Brexit. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, proclaimed at a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday that “considerable progress” had been made towards negotiating the end of Britain’s 45-year membership of the EU. After months of talks, the leaders of the remaining 27 EU member states will on Friday rubber-stamp plans for a 21-month transition deal, starting on “Brexit Day” on March 29 2019 and lasting until the end of 2020. On Friday the EU27 states are also expected to approve guidelines setting out the bloc’s strategy for negotiating a future relationship with the EU, covering trade, security and other issues.” – FT

  • Prime Minister urges EU leaders to create ‘new dynamic’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Smith urges Corbyn to offer a referendum on the final deal – The Guardian
  • Varadkar gives October deadline for resolving Border issue – Belfast Telegraph
  • Pro-EU marchers rally in Edinburgh – The Scotsman


  • At last, good news: Britain is heading for Norway – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Britain’s latest strategy: any deal will do – Philip Stephens, FT
  • We may not be doomed by Brexit after all – Brian Wilson, The Scotsman
  • Labour should ask if leaving is the right decision – Owen Smith MP, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Holyrood and Westminster face off as MSPs pass Brexit bill

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