Brussels further dilutes Cameron’s ‘deal’

CAMERON EU fenceDavid Cameron’s ‘thin gruel’ EU referendum deal has been watered down even further, according to documents leaked last night… Eurosceptics said the changes reassert the ‘powers of the institutions of the European Union’, water down so-called protections for the City and make it more difficult for the UK to trigger its ‘emergency brake’ on migrant benefit claims.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister told he’ll need to finalise agreement on the night of summit – Daily Mail
  • Britain locked in battle with France and Germany over City rules – FT


  • Fox overtakes chickens in ConHome leadership survey – The Sun
  • Right-wing MP is members’ first choice for leader – The Independent
  • Cameron warned he risks destroying Tory Party by ignoring grassroots – Daily Telegraph
  • Conservative councillors call on the Prime Minister to campaign for Brexit – The Guardian
  • Grayling urges ‘In’ campaign to abandon fear tactics – Daily Mail
  • Johnson, Fox, and Patel lined up for Cabinet posts in post-referendum ‘unity’ reshuffle – Daily Mail


  • Cameron and Corbyn should share a stage in EU debate, Hansard Society says – Daily Telegraph
  • Referendum rivals woo press barons – FT

Melanie Phillips: The Prime Minister is peddling nonsense to keep us in the EU

“Having been humiliated by his paltry requests being further watered down, the prime minister has merely demonstrated just how powerless within the EU Britain actually is. Now he has made the absurd threat that Brexit would prompt the migrant squatter camp in Calais to decamp to Britain. This not only suggests that an independent UK would be unable to make any bilateral treaties with other countries, but that its own border controls would collapse.” – The Times (£)

  • Why even Cameron can’t persuade me to stay In – Peter Lilley MP, Daily Telegraph
  • What an estate agent could teach Dave about honestly – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • Cameron risks drowning in the EU’s perfect storm – Daily Mail editorial

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: The case for Davis leading the Leave campaign


Ministers 1) Fury as Chancellor takes control of Government campaign funds

OSBORNE octopus“Until now the Cabinet Office rather than Treasury worked alongside Downing Street on communication strategy. Senior Tory figures fear the move will enable Mr Osborne to promote pet projects, such as the Northern Powerhouse, at the expense of existing campaigns, including those overseen by leadership rivals.” – The Times (£)

  • Osborne risks revolt over raid on pensions – Daily Mail
  • Ministers signal reprieve in cuts to Opposition funding – The Times (£)
  • Chancellor’s u-turn over ‘cynical’ funding cuts – The Sun

Ministers 2) Fallon says NATO fleets will deposit refugees back in Turkey

“Migrants will be scooped up by Nato warships in the Aegean Sea and taken back to Turkey, Michael Fallon said last night. In a dramatic escalation of the response to the crisis, the Defence Secretary said migrants rescued as they make the treacherous journey to Europe will be returned.” – Daily Mail

  • Europe faces new flood of migrants as Turkey threatens to ‘open the gates’ – The Times (£)
  • Brokenshire’s town snubs refugee request – Daily Mail
  • Trident vote to be delayed until after the EU referendum – The Guardian
  • Insurance firms cashing on on troops’ fears of prosecution – Daily Mail


Ministers 3) May gives Met Commissioner only a single year’s extension

MAY Warhol“Home Secretary Theresa May has offered the Metropolitan Police Commissioner a contract extension of just one year rather than the three years which were available. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will now face a further review of his contract next year amid a growing scandal over Operation Midland, a murder probe into the several high profile public figures triggered by a single witness.” – Daily Mail

  • New setback for Home Secretary’s spy bill – The Sun
  • Morgan forces firms pay gap and urges women to boycott poor performers – The Times (£)
  • Letwin confirms boundary review will cut 50 seats – The Times (£)
  • Almost a fifth of courts to be axed as part of Gove’s revolution – The Sun
  • Grayling insists EVEL is working – The Scotsman


>Yesterday: Nick Gibb MP in Comment: Maths must be a priority for every school and child

Ministers 4) Doctors plan ‘guerilla war’ against Government

“Junior doctors are calling for guerrilla war including mass resignations and indefinite strikes after the health secretary said that the government would impose a new contract on them. The British Medical Association said that it would consider “all options open to us” and a full walk-out from accident and emergency departments will be back on the table as the union accused ministers of picking a “political fight” with NHS staff.” – The Times (£)

  • Weeks of nightmarish strikes on the cards – The Sun
  • Surge in number of junior doctors applying for jobs overseas as Hunt imposes contract – Daily Mail
  • Hospital bosses deny support for Health Secretary’s contract move – Politics Home
  • Labour says new deal will ‘destroy morale’ – The Independent
  • Hunt mocked for ‘irony’ after announcing morale review after contract imposition – Daily Telegraph
  • Ministers scramble to introduce new NHS cancer drugs scheme – FT
  • The Health Secretary’s full speech on imposing the junior doctors’ contract – The Independent
  • First Minister attacks Tory treatment of junior doctors – The Scotsman


>Today: Jeremy Hunt MP in Comment: The junior doctors contract. We need reform, however difficult it may be, if the NHS is to be even better


MPs grill HMRC over Google deal

Tax Take“The disaster-prone boss of HM Revenue & Customs admitted she was not a ‘tax expert’ during the stormy session. MPs reacted with incredulity when Dame Lin Homer, chief executive of HMRC for the past four years, said she would not consider herself a ‘deep expert’ on tax. She made the comments when asked how many tax experts work at the HMRC.” – Daily Mail

  • The £120 million error in Google chief’s profit figures – The Times (£)
  • Google boss doesn’t know how much he gets paid – Daily Mail


  • Greasily corporate, Google tries to spin and twist – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • A taxing interrogation but they might as well Ask Jeeves – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)
  • How MPs wasted their chance to nail Google – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Benn speaks up for Trident

“Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has rebuked the Labour leader over Trident with a warning no one wants to live in a world where only North Korea has nuclear weapons . Amid a fierce row over plans to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent, Mr Benn said the weapon system had been ‘successful’.” – Daily Mail

  • Shadow Foreign Secretary rejects theory that others would disarm if Britain did – The Guardian
  • Benn says Putin would be boosted by Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Guardian press Milne to quit over Corbyn role – The Times (£)

SNP reject £4.5 billion tax sweetener for powers deal

SNP logo white background“Nicola Sturgeon has rejected a Treasury offer worth £4.5 billion of English income tax over the next decade to break the deadlock over transferring Scotland’s new powers. The First Minister claimed the proposal was not new or “serious” and did not satisfy the key recommendation by the Smith Commission, which drew up the powers package, that Scotland should suffer “no detriment”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon claims Treasury is misleading media over Scottish funding – The Guardian
  • Nationalist payment delays take ‘devastating’ toll on Scottish farmers – Daily Telegraph

The bungles, rows, and infighting on UKIP’s road to election failure

“It was the election in which almost four million people backed Ukip but it won only one seat, prompting Nigel Farage to call for voting reform and leading to an outcry among supporters. However, it can now be revealed that staff bungling, infighting among officials and rows between candidates played just as big a role in the party’s failure to convert popularity into more than the single seat of Clacton, where Douglas Carswell ploughs a solitary furrow as Ukip’s sole representative in the House of Commons.” – Daily Telegraph

Farron calls for cannabis to be legalised to raise £1 billion

Lib Dem Logo“David Cameron was last night urged to introduce a fully legalised market for cannabis in Britain in moves that could raise £1 billion in tax. Lib Dem chief Tim Farron called on the PM to “rediscover his backbone” and press on with widespread drug reform.” – The Sun

  • Talks between Lib Dems, Plaid, and Greens over Welsh Assembly pact fall apart – Wales Online

News in Brief:

  • Great powers negotiate ‘pause’ in Syrian civil war – Daily Mail
  • Gravity discovery proves Einstein right – The Times (£)
  • Japanese stocks tank and £80 billion wiped of FTSE in market panic – Daily Telegraph
  • First-time buyers in London spend £70k on rent – FT
  • Campaigners accuse councils of abusing anti-social behaviour powers – The Independent
  • Union calls on teachers to boycott Government tests for young pupils – Daily Mail
  • Scottish council could fly Irish tricolour to mark Easter Rising – The Scotsman
  • Justice Minister warns Ulster abortion law is in ‘limbo’ – Belfast Telegraph

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