EU 1) 100 Conservative MPs back call for Parliament to have EU veto

EU Exit“In a major intervention, the backbenchers have written to the Prime Minister urging him to change the law to give the Commons authority to block new EU legislation and repeal existing measures that threaten Britain’s “national interests”. Such powers would enable the Government to reverse the spread of human rights law, relieve businesses of red tape from Brussels and regain control over immigration, they say. They believe the veto is possible with a new Act of Parliament.” – Sunday Telegraph

The letter in full

  • Business for Britain wants 95 per cent of firms that don’t sell to the single market to be exempt from EU regulations – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday
  • Join me in reversing two decades of misrule by Brussels – Peter Cruddas, Sunday Telegraph
  • Bernard Jenkin warns that swing to UKIP could cost 50 seats – Mail on Sunday
  • Latest racist posting on UKIP’s internal forum (sparked this time by Mandela’s death) – Mail on Sunday
  • Cameron must heed his MPs’ concerns – Sunday Telegraph Editorial
  • John Rentoul: Miliband’s EU dithering – Independent on Sunday

EU 2) Osborne to set out his view

“In a major speech on Europe next week, the Chancellor will say that as the economic recovery puts Britain at the top of growth league in the European Union, the reform agenda is gaining momentum. He will also make it clear that Britain is gaining support as it pushes for changes in the way the EU operates. The Chancellor has held negotiations with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and there have also been discussions with the Spanish government, which is putting in place flexible labour market reforms to help businesses.” – Sunday Telegraph

IDS wants migrant benefit ban for two years

DUNCAN SMITH AITW“Duncan Smith’s plan goes far beyond Britain’s recently announced three-month ban on benefits to new EU migrants, prompted by Bulgarians and Romanians gaining free access to the British jobs market from January 1. Duncan Smith told The Sunday Times that he had begun building an alliance of countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland to attack “benefits tourism”. He wants the group to bring pressure on Brussels to change EU laws so that individual countries are allowed to make their own rules stricter.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Brussels slaps down British threats to rewrite immigration rules – Observer
  • Only 16 foreign prisoners have been sent back to their own countries – Sun on Sunday (£)
  • Theresa May failed to ‘put up a fight’ to deport foreign killer – Sunday Telegraph
  • Lessons from the U.S in mass migration – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • There’s no Benefits Street in America – Louise Mensch, Sun on Sunday

Dominic Lawson: Don’t blame eastern Europe for our welfare problems

“The choice is not between open borders and insularity. We have gained enormously from the absorption of, for example, the Ugandan Asians who were expelled by the late Idi Amin. Yet at the moment we have an absurd arrangement in which the government makes it more difficult for the best from outside Europe to come here, in order to fulfil net migration targets made implausible by an obligation to receive all-comers from the 28 EU nations. Reding is right about something else, however: any problems with the welfare state in Britain cannot be blamed on notionally lazy immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria. That would be to confuse cause with effect.” – Sunday Times (£)

Grayling: Britain needs “a completely new relationship with the EU”

Grayling470“We need a new approach to human rights laws. Labour say they want things to stay as they are and to have our laws made in Strasbourg. Britain needs a completely new relationship with the EU, sorting out issues like benefits, migration and employment laws, or to let its people choose whether to leave. Labour wants the status quo, with more and more decisions taken in Brussels. Ed Miliband would sell this country down the river.” – Sunday Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary – Grayling should announce that a majority Conservative Government would quit the ECHR

> Yesterday: Marc Glendening on Comment – No, the EU didn’t help to prevent a Third World War

The South-East Cambridgeshire open primary result stands

“Lucy Frazer, a barrister, was “reaffirmed” as Conservative candidate for South East Cambridgeshire on Friday despite claims that she had been beaten in an open primary by another woman, Heidi Allen, last month. Despite calls for the local party to rerun the vote, the South East Cambridgeshire Conservative association voted to “reaffirm” Ms Frazer as their candidate…Steve Tierney, a Wisbech Conservative town councillor, wrote on the Conservative Home website: “What a mess! Seems bizarre it could even happen. Every count I’ve ever seen has been scrupulous.”” – Independent on Sunday

Hague’s secret weapon against North Korea’s regime:  the Teletubbies

Screen shot 2014-01-12 at 09.12.58“In a sign that relations with the hardline regime may be thawing, BBC Worldwide is negotiating with the state-run television channel to screen a variety of programmes. The foreign secretary is “helping” the BBC to select some suitable viewing. Sources at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said shows such as EastEnders and The Good Life could open people’s eyes to the world beyond the closed republic without offending the regime led by Kim Jong-un, 31.” – Sunday Times (£)

Balls and Alexander “almost came to blows”

“Former Cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell was forced to intervene, saying she feared the Labour rivals were about to get into a ‘fisticuffs’. The dust-up happened when the Shadow Chancellor and Mr Alexander clashed in a private room in the Commons over the party’s policy on Europe. She said later she feared the pair would come to blows. ‘She said it nearly ended in fisticuffs and she had to drag them apart,’ said a source.” – Mail on Sunday

Adam Bolton: An early general election is not going to happen

“Put simply, if the coalition fell now, Cameron would get the first chance to form a minority administration, then Miliband would get his chance. Even if that failed it would then require maximum co-operation between the parties to precipitate an early general election, at a time of maximum fractiousness when they are already locked into a May 2015 election cycle and European and Scottish votes this year. Recent political history has shown how reluctant party leaders are to gamble on an early poll. It’s not going to happen — short of a national emergency.” – Sunday Times (£)

U.N rapporteur says that the Lobbying Bill “will tarnish Britain”

Screen shot 2014-01-12 at 09.15.59“A top UN official has made an outspoken attack on the government’s controversial lobbying bill, describing it as a “stain” on democracy that will undermine elections in the UK, as leading charities demand fresh concessions on the proposals from coalition ministers. Before key votes on the bill in the House of Lords this week, Maina Kiai, the UN rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, says the legislation, if not amended further, will reduce the ability of people in civil society to express their views before elections, while doing little or nothing to tighten controls on corporate lobbyists.” – The Observer

Sharon to lie in state

“The public will pay their respects when his body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday. Israeli and world figures have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage. But there was little sorrow among Palestinians who saw him as an enemy. The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv confirmed Mr Sharon’s death on Saturday afternoon, the Jewish Sabbath, more than a week after it emerged that his health was in decline.” – BBC

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