Port Talbot 1) Javid told to expect three years of bills for taxpayers

JAVID Sajid Marr‘Taxpayers will have to support Britain’s steel industry for up to three years to make it sustainable again, the business secretary will be told today. The warning comes as Sajid Javid prepares to hold his first official talks with a potential buyer of Tata Steel’s British operations, which include the country’s biggest steel plant in Port Talbot. Sanjeev Gupta, the metals tycoon, is expected to say that he can save all 4,100 jobs at Port Talbot if the government assists in an ambitious plan running into hundreds of millions of pounds to close down the blast furnaces and switch to scrap metal-burning electric arc furnaces. A state-backed retraining programme for workers could also be a condition of any rescue deal.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Nick Timothy’s column: Port Talbot, globalisation – and the governing class that gains from mass immigration while poorer people lose out

Port Talbot 2) Boris: Brussels prevents us from acting in our national interest

‘There is the massive global dumping of cheap Chinese steel, subsidised by a Beijing government alarmed by impending job losses in the sector. Then there are the excessive fuel bills this country imposes on industry. When you are running furnaces the cost of energy matters a great deal. Then, I am afraid, there is Brussels, exacerbating both problems. It is one of the features of membership that we must accept that about 60 per cent of our legislation comes from the EU. We must also accept a fatal loss of flexibility, an inability to take decisions that might be in our national interest and an inability to make good our mistakes.’ – Boris Johnson, The Sun (£)

  • The Welsh Government says EU rules prevent it saving the steel works – FT
  • Pro-EU campaigners complain it’s unfair to blame Brussels – The Guardian
  • Protectionism sounds nice but costs jobs – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Wind farms ‘make it harder’ to prevent climate change – The Times (£)

EU 1) Cameron: Britain would have a weak negotiation hand if we vote to leave

ConHome EU shirt Cameron‘People might say: “So what? Surely Britain will get a better deal than Canada or Switzerland? The EU needs Britain more than we need the EU.” That misunderstands the negotiation dynamics that would be at play. The EU buys £21 billion more of services from us – one country – than we buy from the 27 countries in the EU. In fact, of everything we sell abroad, 44 per cent goes to the EU, but of everything the EU exports, less than 8 per cent comes to the UK. How can those dynamics be good for the UK? Governments in the EU would come under tremendous pressure from their domestic firms to discriminate against the UK. And who is to say they wouldn’t take the opportunity?’ – David Cameron, Daily Telegraph

EU 2) 200 economic migrants deported to demonstrate new deal with Turkey

‘A group of 202 economic migrants were returned to Turkey from Greece yesterday in a symbolic start to the EU scheme to deport those arriving illegally on European soil. They comprised mostly Pakistanis and Afghans, with only two Syrians: a man and a woman who volunteered to be shipped back for family reasons. Heading in the other direction, 32 Syrians were flown to Germany and 11 to Finland, as agreed under a previous scheme to take refugees from camps in Turkey.’ – The Times (£)

  • The EU’s critical moment – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • National Insurance numbers could inflame the immigration debate – FT
  • Number of EU judges doubles – The Sun (£)
  • Court accused of inventing backlog to gain more money – The Times (£)
  • EU migrants are three times more likely to come to Britain than anywhere else – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Nadhim Zahawi’s column: The new National Living Wage is much needed, but it could wreck our immigration policy.

EU 3) EU nationals cost the NHS over £700 million a year

NHS_Logo‘The UK is left £732million out of pocket every year from treating poorly EU nationals on the NHS, Brexit campaigners claimed last night. Figures published by the Vote Leave campaign showed the UK paid almost £670million to other EU countries for the treatment of sick Brits abroad last year, but was able to claw back just £50 million from the EU. Since 2007 the UK has paid £6.18billion to other EU member states for the treatment, but got back just £405million for treatment of foreigners in our hospitals — an average gap of £723 million per year.’ – The Sun (£)

  • Four million have to queue to see their GP on the same day – Daily Mail
  • NHS in crisis thanks to the EU – Daily Mail Leader
  • £60 million rent rise for GPs and hospitals – The Times (£)
  • NHS whistleblowing tsar quits – The Times (£)

Cameron’s father’s firm named in Panama leak

‘A huge data leak shows Ian Cameron’s firm used a secretive type of share certificate now banned in the UK. The ‘Panama Papers’ also reveal his company Blairmore Holdings avoided UK tax by hiring Bahamas residents – including a bishop – to sign paperwork. Experts said the way it held meetings in the Caribbean and Switzerland appeared little more than a ‘conjuring trick’ to make it seem the firm was based outside the UK when key decisions were actually taken in Britain.’ – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn to launch attack on ‘pussyfooting’ Prime Minister – The Guardian
  • HMRC has to beg the media for access to papers – Daily Mail
  • Icelandic PM under pressure to resign – Daily Mail
  • How Putin’s cronies moved millions round the world – The Times (£)
  • Ashcroft spokesman denies ‘entirely false’ allegations – New Statesman



Teachers heckle Gibb at union conference

GIBB Nick smiling‘Angry teachers shouted and swore at schools minister Nick Gibb today as he defended his plans to force all schools to become academies. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers jeered and heckled the Tory MP as he claimed the proposals would empower schools and improve education. Union members groaned, roared with laughter and shouted out ‘c**p’, ‘b******s’ and ‘rubbish’ as he addressed their annual conference in Liverpool. And when he tried to talk about the ‘drivers’ of unmanageable teacher workload, one audience member shouted out ‘the Tory government’.’ – Daily Mail

  • Labour seeks Tory backbenchers’ help to defeat academy drive – The Guardian

>Today: Graham Brady on Comment: I support academy expansion – but there’s a problem with multi-academy trusts

>Yesterday: John Nash on Comment: Our school reforms. We want parents to be more involved in their children’s education – not less.

Scottish Labour leader praises Holyrood as the ‘gayest parliament in the world’

‘Kezia Dugdale has described the Scottish Parliament as the “gayest parliament in the world” as she admitted she had been “bowled over” by the support she had received since confirming she is in a lesbian relationship. The Scottish Labour leader, who has previously avoided talking about her private life, tweeted her thanks to all those who sent her messages of support after she said she was “in love with a woman”. She is one of several high-profile political figures in Scotland to have come out.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Chris Grayling’s column: Labour is corrupted by racism

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Davidson renews attack on SNP’s ‘Named Persons’

Prison officers warn an entire wing of one jail is being run under Sharia law

Prison bars‘Muslim extremists have turned part of a jail into a “no-go zone,” prison union leaders claim. They believe an entire block at Gartree is being run under Sharia law. Non-Muslim inmates at the jail are said to be refusing to move to C unit over fears of Muslim gangs forcing them to convert.’ – The Sun (£)

Trump or Cruz, it doesn’t matter

‘Last week two pieces of data emerged which give us the clearest possible idea about where this crazy race is headed. And it is not good news for Mr Trump, or his two rivals for the Republican nomination. First, Gallup’s latest survey of Barack Obama’s approval ratings showed him at his most popular level since 2013, with 53 per cent….On Friday the US announced that an extra 215,000 people had found work in March – slightly better than expected and keeping unemployment down to five per cent, close to what it was before the economic collapse of 2007. All of which adds to a sense that the economy is headed in the right direction.’ – Rob Crilly, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Petrol price to rise – Daily Mail
  • Only 1 per cent of fathers use shared parental leave laws – The Sun (£)
  • The Army seeks to woo businesses to increase Reserves – FT
  • Human sacrifice helps to build a strong society, researchers claim – The Times (£)
  • Latest twist in The Archers – Daily Telegraph
  • Tattoo trend shows we’re becoming pagan – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)

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