EU 1) Juncker plans ‘compulsory’ asylum seeker quotas

Jean-Claude Juncker greets David Cameron‘British taxpayers face a £90 million bill to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers between European countries in a scheme that David Cameron said could encourage more people to risk their lives travelling to the continent…During a 90-minute “state of the union” speech to MEPs, Mr Juncker set out a radical migration plan. “We are not in a good place. There is a lack of Europe in the EU and there is a lack of union in the European Union. That has to change,” he said. “This has to be done in a compulsory way — 160,000 that’s the number. I hope that this time everyone will be on board. No rhetoric. Action is what is needed.”’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Kate Maltby on Comment: We should scrap the distinction between refugees and economic migrants – and take more of them

>Yesterday: Stanley Johnson on Comment: Why Britain needs a population policy

EU 2) Osborne: We need a new deal between Euro and non-Euro countries (and treaty change)

‘It is going to require, in my view, things that are legally binding and irreversible and, therefore, almost certainly treaty change, certainly on this issue around the relationship between the Euros and the non-Euros. Even the most ardent pro-European – and I would, by the way, describe myself as a Eurosceptic – would say, should say, that this is a problem that needs resolving.’ – The New Statesman

  • The Chancellor warns of the risk posed by Corbyn – The Times (£)
  • The Government’s control of financial institutions keeps growing – FT
  • Osborne faces tough choices – Chris Giles, FT
  • CBI attacks Living Wage – The Guardian

EU 3) Montgomerie: ‘Leave’ campaigners can win big – with the right public face

EU Exit‘Large majorities of British voters want control of the nation’s borders and would rather spend Britain’s £12 billion EU membership fee on the NHS. The only thing holding them back from voting to leave is the thought that British jobs would be at risk. If they can be persuaded that German car manufacturers, French wine growers, Greek hotels and Italian fashion houses…wouldn’t let their governments erect trade barriers along the English Channel we are in game-changing territory…Any campaign that wants to own the future hides Corbyn and Farage in the broom cupboard.’ – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: WATCH: Ici Londres – Daniel Hannan MEP packs his trunk, the symbol of the EU circus

Hammond changes tack on Assad’s future

‘Two years ago, David Cameron said it would be ‘unthinkable’ for Britain to support any deal that would allow the dictator to cling to power, but the uncompromising stance has stalled talks on a possible diplomatic deal with Assad’s allies in Russia and Iran. They are suspicious that the West could use military action against Islamic State terrorists as cover for removing Assad. Mr Hammond yesterday told MPs that Britain was now prepared to be ‘pragmatic’. He said it would not countenance a deal that would allow Assad to remain as long-term leader, not least because that would help drive support for IS. But he added: ‘We are not saying Assad and all his cronies have to go on day one.’’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Interview: Andrew Mitchell – “I have always believed that the absolute bar on having anything to do with Assad is wrong”.

Johnson plans to ‘bust open’ the university market

Jo Johnson‘Private higher education institutions are being stifled by a “frankly anti-competitive” market, the universities minister has said, as he set out plans to deregulate the sector. Addressing academics on Wednesday, Jo Johnson was particularly scornful of a requirement that new institutions must have degrees validated by an existing university. He said this was “akin to Byron Burger having to ask permission of McDonald’s to open up a new restaurant”. Mr Johnson, the brother of London mayor Boris, said: “We need to bust this system right open”.’ – FT

  • Good on Gibb for giving summer babies the choice of when to start school – The Times Leader (£)

Help to Buy for 1,758 households earning over £100,000 a year

‘Overall, 1,758 help to buy loans were handed out to individuals or couples who take home more than £100,000 a year – despite them being in the top 10 per cent richest households in the country. In addition, almost 500 of the couples earning over £100,000 who were given government help already owned a property.’ – Daily Mail

Heath: The Right are the optimists now

Left and Right‘There was a time, not that long ago, when Conservatives were convinced Britain was going to the dogs. They were pessimistic about the future, ill at ease with the present, upset about social change and worried about national decline. Socialists, by contrast, were the optimists: they embraced the future, innovation and modernity. The Right and many of its thinkers and philosophers were reactionary; the Left progressive. That is no longer true: in one of the most significant role reversals of the past couple of decades, Tory activists have become upbeat and Labour supporters have turned angry and negative.’ – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

Your TV licence could be linked to your house price

‘Culture Secretary John Whittingdale suggested the levy could be paid on the same bill as council tax as part of a major reform of the way the public funds the BBC. At the moment, everyone pays the same amount for their TV licence – £145.50 a year, but he said a degree of ‘progressivity’ could be introduced – meaning the rich would be expected to contribute more than the poor. Officials said one way this could be achieved would be by linking the amount someone pays to the band of council tax they pay – but stressed that no decisions had been made.’ – Daily Mail

Lord Lexden calls for siblings to be allowed civil partnerships

lord-lexden‘The right to enter a civil partnership should be extended to brothers and sisters, a Tory peer said today. The bizarre call was made by Lord Lexden, who said the move would address the ‘injustice’ in inheritance tax laws. He said ‘sibling couples’ should be able to set up a civil partnership so that when one of them dies, the other one is not forced to sell the family home to pay the tax.’ – Daily Mail

Baroness Altmann was a member of the Lib Dems, as well as Labour

‘A Conservative minister who was expelled from the Labour party this week has said that she was also a recent member of the Liberal Democrats. Baroness Altmann, a pensions expert who was ennobled by David Cameron and made a minister, said that she had joined all three main political parties “to keep an eye on each party’s politics in my areas of interest ahead of the election”.’ – The Times (£)

Ashcroft reveals yawning gap between Labour’s core and swing voters

LABOUR dead rose‘More than half of Labour’s loyalist voters think it is more important to stick to the party’s principles than to temper those views to try to win an election, according to an opinion poll for the former Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft. The poll also reveal a yawning gap between the views of Labour loyalists and voters who defected to another party at the last election, especially on the issues of welfare, the economy and immigration.’ – The Guardian

>Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: New polling – What do Labour’s supporters, and former supporters, think about the Party’s future?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Corbyn Factor visits our survey. It finds that Tory members should have more rights than registered supporters

Farewell, Harriet Harman

‘This newspaper has rarely praised Harriet Harman. This is largely because the Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham is wrong about just about everything. She personifies the interfering, politically correct, big state politics that make her party so unattractive to most sensible people and generally unsuitable to govern. Nonetheless, Ms Harman has earned some credit. Yesterday Labour’s deputy leader represented her party for the last time at Prime Minister’s Questions. Next week that task will likely fall to Jeremy Corbyn, whose dogmatic socialism makes Ms Harman look moderate.’ – Daily Telegraph Leader

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: The Commons becomes almost excessively dignified

Stormont looks flimsy as Sinn Fein chairman arrested in shooting investigation

Police‘Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government could collapse today following the arrests of three senior republicans in connection with the murder of a former IRA man. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) issued an ultimatum after Bobby Storey, Sinn Fein’s northern chairman, was arrested yesterday in connection with the shooting of Kevin McGuigan last month. He was held alongside two other prominent republicans, Eddie Copeland, 45, and Brian Gillen, 59.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White and Blue column: Villiers warns that Ulster’s government might run out of money

Half of calls to HMRC go unanswered

‘Half of taxpayers who called the HMRC helpline earlier this year did not get through, its boss has admitted. Chief executive Lin Homer revealed yesterday that as many as one in two callers were left waiting during busy periods as call handlers struggled to work a new phone system.’ – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Are we really going to try to ban men from complimenting women? – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail
  • Britain’s most overcrowded trains – FT
  • BA pilot Chris Henkey is a hero – The Sun Says (£)
  • Chilcot still won’t set a date – The Times (£)
  • Man prosecuted for catching and eating wild deer in London – Daily Telegraph
  • It may be possible to catch Alzheimer’s disease – Daily Mail
  • Moths as big as your palm arrive in Britain – Daily Telegraph
  • Queen spends record-breaking day with Nicola Sturgeon – FT