EU 1) UK ‘blocked’ Union’s bid to raise tariffs on Chinese steel

TATA steel“Britain led efforts to block EU tariffs that might have protected the steel industry in this country from a flood of cheap Chinese imports, it emerged yesterday. George Osborne and David Cameron were accused last night of being more concerned with courting China than the fate of Tata steelworkers.” – Daily Mail

  • Brussels points the finger over Tata – FT
  • Taxpayer set to make up shortfall in pensions for thousands of steelworkers – Daily Mail
  • Take over £14bn pension fund or there will be no sale, Cameron warned – The Times (£)
  • Three thousand queue for jobs at nearby Aston Martin plant – Daily Mail
  • Break-up of steelworks ‘will spread chaos’ – The Times (£)


  • Five key questions on Tata and Port Talbot – FT
  • Cameron says nationalisation not the answer – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister rules out state ownership – FT
  • Government could nationalise steelworks in bid to find buyer – Daily Telegraph
  • Javid attacked for trip to Australia – Daily Mail
  • Business Secretary faces calls to quit over ‘holiday’ – Daily Express
  • Ministers ‘wholly unprepared’ for crisis – FT
  • Tories attack Labour’s pointless petition – The Sun
  • Problems blamed on desire to woo Beijing – The Times (£)
  • Welsh Government and ex-Plaid MP clash over nationalisation – Wales Online


  • Steelworkers are paying for China’s blunders – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • The Tata crisis proves there was no long-term economic plan – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour’s simplistic calls for action ignore deep challenges facing British steel – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • Nationalisation is a red herring, but the state should save steel – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


  • A chaotic attempt to solve the steel crisis – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Why Conservatives should want to intervene in Port Talbot


EU 2) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: We face Brexit with the worst external deficit on record

“Britain is sinking deeper into the red. There will be no sovereign debt crisis because we borrow in our own currency. Instead we will let the exchange rate take the strain if need be, devaluing our way out of immediate trouble with the usual insouciance… The moral of the story is that if you want to call to a referendum on such a neuralgic issue as EU membership, don’t do it when you are running the worst current account deficit in 244 years of recorded history.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A vulnerable economy is the true price of Britain’s current account deficit – Larry Elliott, The Guardian
  • Britain must not give investors cause for flight – FT editorial

EU 3) Whittingdale warns that the living wage will attract more migrants

IMMIGRATION mat“A leading Eurosceptic Cabinet minister has hit out at George Osborne’s national living wage – warning that it will attract more migrants. John Whittingdale said the higher minimum wage, which comes into force today, will encourage more workers from the continent to come to Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • Workers lose bonuses and perks to get a living wage – The Times (£)
  • Living wage drives up nursery fees and squeezes working parents – Daily Mail
  • Osborne hits back at bosses over living wage – The Sun
  • Middle-class, cash-in-hand employers unlikely to observe law – The Guardian
  • Lowest saving rates ever raise fears cash crunch will kill recovery – The Sun

More EU:

  • Chancellor attacked for using spending black hole to spread fear about Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Exit jitters dent consumer confidence – The Guardian
  • EU workers scramble for British citizenship – The Times (£)
  • Clinton warns Britain, and Northern Ireland in particular, to stay in the EU – Daily Telegraph
  • EU spends more on promoting itself than fighting terrorism – Daily Express
  • In campaigners told Umunna bombs in focus groups – The Sun
  • Farage says rival Out campaigns must work together – Daily Express
  • Archbishop of Wales urges Remain vote – Wales Online

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Hunt and Morgan on the one side, and the Vote Leave campaign on the other, make idiots of themselves over the EU

George Osborne: I said Britain deserved a pay rise, now it’s getting one

“Tomorrow, right across our country, millions of people will be going to work and earning more. That’s thanks to our new, compulsory National Living Wage which comes into effect at midnight. This government was elected to deliver a higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax country that finally lives within its means – and that’s what David Cameron, I and my colleagues are delivering.” – The Sun

  • If the Prime Minister can’t stop the Tory infighting he’ll clear Corbyn’s path to power – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson favourite to be leader as Osborne’s fortunes plummet – The Sun

>Today: George Osborne MP in Comment: Four radical reforms which show what this modern, compassionate Conservative Government is all about

Cameron increases armed police presence in cities

Police shield“Hundreds of extra armed police are to patrol British cities as fears grow of a Paris-style massacre outside London. The Prime Minister announced the additional 400 gun cops for Manchester, Birmingham and other cities during a trip to Washington.” – Daily Mail

Blunt claims Britain has obligation to train Libyan army

“Britain has a moral responsibility to help train a new national Libyan army after the fiasco of its 2011 intervention, but any British forces stationed in Tripoli would be perceived as an invading force and therefore seen as a military target, the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Crispin Blunt, has said. He was speaking on Thursday after Libya’s unity government tried to assert its authority in Tripoli in the wake of the UN-backed prime minister-designate’s arrival in the capital.” – The Guardian

Sturgeon has ‘debt of honour’ not to mount new separation bid, claims Davidson

SNP logo white background“Nicola Sturgeon owes a “debt of honour” to the Scottish people not to stage a second independence referendum and will rule one out if she has a “shred of decency”, Ruth Davidson has said as she attacked the SNP and Labour over a series of policy about-turns. The Scottish Tory leader said the First Minister would stick by her pledge that a referendum could only be staged once in a generation “if she is an honourable woman” and vowed to oppose a new separation campaign Ms Sturgeon has promised to launch this summer.” – Daily Telegraph

  • First Minister unveils new gay rights package – The Scotsman

Foster launches Democratic Unionist election campaign

“First Minister Arlene Foster has fired the starting pistol in the race to elect Northern Ireland’s next Assembly. With five weeks to go before polling day on May 5, the DUP leader was first out of the blocks yesterday to officially nominate herself as a candidate.” – Belfast Telegraph

  • Veterans march on Stormont for fair deal from politicians – News Letter

>Yesterday: David Shiels in Comment: How Northern Ireland’s Unionist parties are gearing up for the EU Referendum

Abortion blunders threaten to derail Trump’s campaign

America“Donald Trump’s remarks on women and on nuclear security left him fighting for his credibility as the Republican frontrunner last night — and the party contemplating disaster if the ­billionaire wins the nomination. Mr Trump’s campaign claimed ­yesterday that he was guilty of a “complete misspeak” when he said that women should be punished for having abortions, but the latest attempt at damage limitation was no more effective than two corrective statements that were put out after his initial words became public on Wednesday evening.” – The Times (£)

  • The issue which divides America and has humbled Trump – Ruth Sherlock, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • First 500 migrants returned to Turkey as EU deportation deal finally kicks in – Daily Mail
  • National revolt against labour laws humiliates Hollande – The Times (£)
  • NHS bans pharmaceutical staff from taking gifts from drug companies – Daily Telegraph
  • Erdogan’s security guards clash with journalists – FT
  • New £1 coins go into production a year before they will enter circulation – Daily Mail

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