Referendum 1) Immigration from the EU hits an all-time high

Border‘A record number of jobless EU migrants moving to Britain to look for work has pushed immigration from the European Union to an all-time high. In a hammer blow to David Cameron, official figures showed the total number of EU nationals coming here under freedom-of-movement rules hit 270,000 last year. This included a record 77,000 who came without the offer of a job. It also included a record number of arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria.’ – Daily Mail

  • No regrets over open-door policy, says Blunkett – Daily Mail
  • Better skills for British workers is the answer – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Border control is prominent in first TV debate – Daily Mail
  • The Prime Minister refuses to take questions on the issue – The Sun (£)
  • Pro-EU campaign says the NHS would collapse without mass immigration – The Sun (£)
  • Cameron denies being closet Brexiteer – The Sun (£)



Referendum 2) Juncker attacks Boris

‘The European Commission president suggested at the G7 summit in Japan that Mr Johnson return to Brussels, where he grew up and worked as a journalist, to learn some facts. “Boris Johnson spent part of his life in Brussels,” said Mr Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg. “It’s time for him to come back to Brussels in order to check if everything he is telling the British people is in line with reality.” The criticism from Brussels intensified when Martin Selmayr, Mr Juncker’s chief of staff, tweeted about a “horror scenario” in which populists take power across the world.’ – FT


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: As each referendum campaign picks out target groups, there are worries about students, soldiers and expats

Referendum 3) Osborne warns of impact on pensions, just hours before purdah begins

OSBORNE George official‘Millions of pensioners and those planning for retirement will lose out if Britain leaves the European Union, the Treasury claimed last night. The combination of rising inflation, financial market turmoil and a fall in house prices will all affect pensioners’ savings, incomes and wealth, according to the latest report released by George Osborne. Officials also claimed that the value of the state pension, which is received by 12 million people, will also be eroded.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Iain Dale’s Friday Diary: The woman who had a chat with Osborne – and then decided to Vote Leave. And rang me to say so.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How you can still be Prime Minister, George – a letter from Mandelson to Osborne

Referendum 4) Brussels’ secret plan for a European army

‘Steps towards creating a European army are being kept secret from British voters until the day after next month’s referendum. The plans, drawn up by the EU’s foreign policy chief, foresee the development of new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters. They are supported by Germany and other countries as the first step towards an EU army. Similar proposals were vetoed by Britain in 2011, although there are concerns that a loophole could allow nine states to group together and bypass opponents.’ – The Times (£)

  • Such a step would diminish British influence – The Times Leader (£)
  • Spain accused of ‘betraying NATO’ by hosting Russan navy – The Times (£)

>Today: Christopher Howarth on Comment: Cameron’s Hollow Deal 5) It isn’t future-proof – indeed, its already out of date

Referendum 5) Mundell family split over Brexit

MUNDELL David‘Oliver Mundell, the new MSP for Dumfriesshire, was one of only eight MSPs to vote against a motion supporting EU membership. He said it was “important to stand up and be counted” and he did not want a “whitewash” with all Scotland’s politicians backing a Remain vote. However, his father, David, is the Scottish Secretary and a strong supporter of staying in the EU…The pro-EU motion was carried at the Scottish Parliament by 106 votes to eight. Seven Tory MSPs, including Mr Mundell, and one Labour member, voted against it.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan’s column: Cheer up, Conservatives! There is no “Tory civil war” over the EU

Security 1) Cameron pledges Navy vessel to stop Libyan people traffickers

‘At least 120 migrants have drowned off the Libyan coast in the past two days after boats carrying them capsized. David Cameron will pledge to send another Royal Navy ship with orders to target arms as well as people traffickers at today’s G7 summit in response to the move from Paris. In a sign that Downing Street wants to reassert control over the mission and place Mr Cameron closer to the heart of the effort, a spokesman said that he would be seeking an “active leadership role” in the expanded operation.’ – The Times (£)

Security 2) Fingerprints and DNA of suspects destroyed due to terror error

Police helmet‘The fingerprint and DNA profiles of up to 800 terror suspects have been destroyed because of errors by spies and the police, it has emerged. The number of destroyed cases represents of one in 10 of the 8,000 extremists whose details are held on the Government’s counter-terrorism databases. The destruction took place because paperwork was not completed which would have allowed biometric data to be stored indefinitely, a watchdog said.’ – Daily Telegraph

Call for new fund to fight superbugs

‘David Cameron will on Friday urge world leaders to set up a global fund worth $1.6bn a year to reward pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs to fight “superbugs”. The prime minister will present to the Group of Seven summit a report on antimicrobial resistance by Lord Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs chief economist, who has proposed a global drug development fund worth $16bn over ten years.’ – FT

  • Doctors will be ordered to stop giving unnecessary prescriptions – The Sun (£)
  • Microbe resistant to ‘last resort’ antibiotics found in US – Daily Mail
  • It isn’t the apocalypse. Yet. – ArsTechnica

BMA leak reveals more money was junior doctors’ “only real red line”

NHS_Logo‘Junior doctors’ leaders plotted to draw out their dispute with the government to provoke the health secretary into imposing the new working contract, a cache of leaked messages reveals. Senior figures on the British Medical Association’s junior doctors’ committee sought to tie “the DH [Department of Health] up in knots for the next 16-18 months” and admitted in a series of private messages that weekend pay — rather than patient safety — was “the only real red line”. The leak of more than 1,000 pages of WhatsApp exchanges, dating back to November, reveals a stark contrast between the BMA’s public statements and its private strategy.’ – The Times (£)

Trump seals the deal

‘Self-promotion king Donald Trump is now officially the Republican candidate to be the next President of the USA after getting enough delegates. The brash billionaire needed to get 1,237 and this afternoon Associated Press announced, according to its calculations, he has 1,238. This means he is now preparing to take on Hillary Clinton, who is almost certain to be selected as the Democrat Party candidate.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Why America’s next President may be neither Clinton nor Trump, but instead…

Milne gains power in Corbyn’s office reshuffle

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)‘The Labour leader’s highly regarded chief of staff Simon Fletcher has been moved to become director of campaigns and planning for the Labour party. There have been rumours of clashes between Mr Fletcher and Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s director of communications…the changes will strength the control of Mr Milne over the Labour leader’s office. It emerged earlier this week that Andrew Fisher, a left wing aide who had urged voters to back Class War during the election, was poised to become executive director of policy.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • McDonnell under fire over funding of hard left adviser – The Times (£)
  • Meet the new left economics, same as the old left economics – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Corbyn readies his party for a snap election – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Sarah Ingham on Comment: Shame on Ministers for their nasty, braying – and counter-productive – bullying of Corbyn

News in Brief

  • BBC has missed an opportunity for gender equality, says Clare Balding – Daily Mail
  • Killer confesses to tarot card reader – The Times (£)
  • Ofcom launches nuisance call blocker – FT
  • People still call Ed Miliband “David” by accident – Daily Telegraph
  • Lament the passing of the eccentric teacher – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • DUP MP must pay back £14,000 in expenses – The Sun (£)
  • Paypal founder funding fight to shut down gossip websites – The Times (£)
  • Kill James Bond – Janan Ganesh, FT