Ministers threaten second referendum if renegotiation fails

CAMERON EU fence“Cabinet ministers are warning there will be a second referendum on whether the UK should quit the European Union if David Cameron fails to win a radical new deal in Brussels…A major split has now opened up between Mr Cameron and ministers who want to be free to campaign for Britain to leave the EU if they do not like the new deal that the Prime Minister negotiates. One member of his Cabinet has warned that the promised ‘in/out’ referendum in 2017 will not be ‘the end game’ if voters choose to remain in a seriously flawed EU” – Sunday Telegraph

Martin: so far, Cameron does not seem to be asking for very much EU reform

“Here comes the fabled great renegotiation, which opened last week with the Prime Minister undertaking a difficult European tour, rescued by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying that it might be possible to change the EU’s treaties to accommodate British demands. Yet as Mr Cameron shuttled about, having breakfast, lunch and dinner in different capitals, it was difficult to avoid the awkward thought that so far he does not seem to be asking for very much” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Liam Fox demands “complete restructuring of European institutions” – Sun on Sunday
  • Cameron’s EU reform must not be a sham – David Campbell Bannerman MEP, Sunday Telegraph
  • Cameron will only get cosmetic concessions – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • Dave can beat the EU by eating tons of sauerkraut – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

Murdoch U-turn on EU: now he wants to stay in

Murdoch“In a spectacular U-turn, media mogul Rupert Murdoch has abandoned his plan to campaign for Britain to withdraw from the EU…A well-placed source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Mr Murdoch’s view of the EU has mellowed in recent years. He is no fan of bureaucratic blocs but if it comes down to a choice between Britain getting out of the EU or staying, he would stay in.’ The main reason for Murdoch’s new pro-EU stance is that leaving could damage British industry” – Mail on Sunday

Roberts: Boris must lead the “out” campaign

“With recent polling running at 51% to 39% in favour of staying in, opponents of British membership of the EU need a nuclear missile to change the terms of the debate. That missile is Boris Johnson. Presently the leaders of the ‘out’ campaign are likely to be Nigel Farage, the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, Bill Cash and perhaps Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Austin Mitchell and Owen Paterson. Hard-working, intelligent, committed, honest and erudite people all of them, but they don’t have the standing to electrify the debate” – Andrew Roberts, Sunday Times (£)

  • The ghost of Wilson guides Cameron towards a referendum victory – Adam Bolton, Sunday Times (£)

Gove: Scotland might keep the Human Rights Act

GOVE, Michael blue sky“Scotland could be allowed to retain the Human Rights Act even if Westminster sidelined the European Court in favour of an ‘English’ Bill of Rights, according to new plans being considered by Michael Gove…Justice Department sources have told The Independent on Sunday that the HRA could be allowed to remain part of Scotland’s distinct legal system if an ‘English’ – rather than a British – Bill of Rights were brought in” – Independent on Sunday


Tory Diary: Gove’s greatest challenge is not scrapping the Human Rights Act

Timothy: we must withdraw from the Strasbourg court

“The abolition of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a new Bill of Rights is vital for public protection and national security…As Theresa May’s adviser during the long battle to deport Abu Qatada, I know the damage done to national security not just by Labour’s Human Rights Act but the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg…the UK should withdraw from the European Convention and the jurisdiction of the Court in Strasbourg” – Nick Timothy, Sunday Telegraph


Tory Diary: The ECHR. Gove V May, Round Two?

EU referendum prompts calls for votes for 16-year-olds

ballot_box“The government faces a potential revolt in both houses of parliament over its refusal to let 16- and 17-year-olds take part in a referendum on EU membership…Tory MP and former minister Sir Peter Bottomley, a long-term supporter of voting at 16, has signed a Commons motion backing an extension of the franchise and said he believes other Conservative MPs will follow suit. Meanwhile, peers are planning amendments to the referendum bill in the Lords in hope of embarrassing the Commons into backing voting from 16” – Observer

Lewis: my party has left our armed forces “enfeebled”

“A leading Tory MP has savaged his own party’s record on defence, saying that the previous Labour government had been more ‘strategic’ on the future of the armed forces while the Tories had left Britain’s capabilities ‘enfeebled’. Julian Lewis, who is standing for election as chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, has joined the growing number of leading figures calling for the Government to commit to spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, and arguing that the UK should in fact be spending far more than the Nato minimum requirement” – Independent on Sunday

Rudd to cut onshore wind farm subsidies sooner

Amber Rudd“Subsidies that have fuelled the spread of onshore wind farms are to be dramatically curtailed, under Government plans to be unveiled within days. The Telegraph has learnt that a generous subsidy scheme will be shut down earlier than expected, effectively preventing thousands of turbines from getting built, under plans being considered by Amber Rudd, the new energy secretary” – Sunday Telegraph

Winner-takes-all elections accused of “splitting the UK”

“Britain’s voting system is ‘splitting the union’ and creating ‘artificial divides’ between nations because it is incapable of delivering a fair result in an era of multi-party politics, according to a study of the link between votes cast and seats won at the general election. A report by the Electoral Reform Society, which campaigns for a more proportional system, concludes that the first-past-the-post method delivered a share-out of seats at Westminster on 8 May that not only exaggerated political division in the UK but left millions feeling that their votes counted for nothing” – Observer

Kerslake to attack right-to-buy housing policy

Thatcher council houses2“The former head of the civil service will this week denounce the government’s flagship plan to extend the ‘right to buy’ to 1.3 million housing association tenants, saying it is wrong in principle and practice and will not address the urgent need to build more affordable homes. Lord Kerslake (formerly Sir Bob Kerslake), who was the most senior mandarin at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) until February, when he was made a peer by David Cameron, will break cover in his maiden speech in the House of Lords on Tuesday” – Observer

Moore: Tory housing policy has no redeeming features

“There is, as you may have heard, a problem with the country’s budget deficit. You may also have heard that there is a housing crisis. The government’s response to these twin challenges is, in one move, to give away up to £104,000 to some lucky individuals and to reduce the country’s stock of affordable housing. Such will be the effects of the planned extension of right to buy to housing association properties” – Rowan Moore, Observer

  • A Prime Minister determined to make one nation – Anne McElvoy, Observer
  • The Left talks of fairness, but means nothing of the sort – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Whittingdale: Football needs boycott to oust Blatter

“Sepp Blatter’s claim that he could not possibly be aware of institutional wrongdoing at the organisation he controls so tightly lacks credibility even by his standards. It is time for him to go. If he does not go? Last week, some of the game’s most respected figures raised the prospect of world football turning its back on Fifa. Michel Platini has talked of European nations boycotting future World Cups if Blatter refuses to stand down. No options should be ruled out” – John Whittingdale, Sunday Times (£)

  • Swiss prosecutors target Blatter as Prince William demands clean-up – Sunday Times (£)

Davidson challenges the SNP to rule out tax increases

DAVIDSON Ruth new“The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, yesterday challenged rival political parties to rule out tax increases when new powers come to Holyrood. Davidson attempted to move the constitutional debate on from the battle with the SNP over what powers should come to Scotland to what those powers should be used for” – Scotsman on Sunday

Umunna: Labour took ethnic minority voters for granted

“The Labour Party has taken the support of ethnic minority voters for granted and risks losing them to the Conservatives, says Chuka Umunna. The shadow Business Secretary, who stunned his party by withdrawing from the contest to succeed Ed Miliband, told The Independent on Sunday that Labour had failed to engage with diverse communities because it was assumed they would simply vote for the party regardless” – Independent on Sunday

  • Harman rejects three-year “test run” for next Labour leader – Observer
  • How Labour politicians disowned the party’s key policies – Observer


HMS Bulwark helps to save 4,000 migrants fleeing Libya by sea

IMMIGRATION mat“Hundreds of migrants, many of them children, have been rescued from the Mediterranean by a British naval ship in an operation that has seen more than 4,000 people brought safely to shore in the past two days. HMS Bulwark has been operating in waters just north of Libya, intercepting the dangerously overcrowded boats in which thousands are risking their lives to flee war and poverty in Africa” – Observer

News in brief

  • Beau Biden, son of US vice-president Joe Biden, dies of brain cancer – Guardian
  • Powerful earthquake in Japan, nobody dead – Guardian
  • Nick Clegg banned from entering Russia – Mail on Sunday
  • Nick Robinson’s cancer diary – Mail on Sunday
  • Super glam SamCam, the bikini babe, chillaxes in Ibiza – Mail on Sunday