Cameron’s “EU sham” exposed…

Snip20160517_2“A pact between David Cameron and big business to scare Britain into staying in the EU was exposed last night. A leaked letter suggests the Prime Minister was plotting with a multinational firm on how to hammer home the Remain case while still claiming he was prepared to campaign to leave. He had been telling the Commons that he ‘ruled nothing out’ unless he won concessions from the EU” – Daily Mail

… but Crosby says time may be running out for Leave

“Time may be running out for the Leave camp to make the case for Brexit as the Remain campaign’s position is consolidating and the electorate becoming more polarised over Britain’s membership of the European Union. With just over a month to go, the sharp end approaches and greater cut-through is needed. This week’s ORB poll reveals an increase in public support for Remain countered by an almost proportional fall in support for Leave” – Sir Lynton Crosby, Daily Telegraph

  • The Leave campaign is really the Donald Trump campaign with better hair – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Ex-MI6 boss condemns EU’s handling of migration

IMMIGRATION mat“Europe risks importing the ‘terrorist virus’ and sparking ‘popular uprisings’ if it can’t control its borders, a former spy chief warned last night. Ex-MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove said the European Union’s response to the influx of migrants has been ‘hesitant’, ‘unsure’ and ‘perverse’. This failure was fuelling the risk of the resurgence of far-Right movements, he said” – Daily Mail

Report says migrants cost more than they pay in taxes

“The cost to Britain of mass immigration is £16.8 billion every year, a report claims today. The figure includes a £1.2 billion annual net cost of migrants from Europe, who consume far more in public services and benefits than they pay in taxes… Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of Migration Watch, said: ‘This report shows that EU migration, taken as a whole, is not making the positive fiscal contribution that has so often been claimed’” – Daily Mail

  • The BBC’s focus on immigration was really a whole day of anti-Brexit propaganda – Toby Young, Daily Telegraph

Farage wants second referendum if Remain wins narrowly

“Nigel Farage warns today he would fight for a second referendum on Britain in Europe if the remain campaign won by a narrow margin next month… Farage told the Mirror: ‘In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it’” – Daily Mirror

Boris and Osborne trade blows about Loch Ness monster…

Hoaxed_photo_of_the_Loch_Ness_monster“Boris Johnson hit back at George Osborne who accused the Leave camp of treating economic warnings as a ‘massive conspiracy’. The chancellor said: ‘The next thing we know, the Leave camp will be accusing us of faking the moon landings, kidnapping Shergar and covering up the existence of the Loch Ness monster’… Mr Johnson joked: ‘The evidence for the Loch Ness monster is considerably better than Treasury forecasts’” – Daily Express

… as Boris accuses the EU of promoting tax avoidance

“Britain is not able to crack down on tax avoidance because of the European Union, Boris Johnson claimed yesterday. He said the UK could not stop big businesses ‘sluicing money’ off Luxembourg – and that a scheme designed as a solution to tax avoidance was failing because of the EU. Research by Vote Leave showed British taxpayers have been left out of pocket by £2.36 billion since 2012 after EU judges overhauled UK tax laws” – Daily Mail

  • Boris mocks “hostage videos” of pro-EU business leaders – Guardian
  • Boris compares EU to “some badly designed undergarment” – Sun
  • Boris accused of burying study linking pollution and deprived schools – Guardian

Business support for Brexit grows

“Growing numbers of British executives are hitting back at official claims that leaving the EU would be bad for business…many business people counter that Brexit would increase the UK’s economic potential, citing the EU’s low growth, burdensome regulation and the possibility of deals with more dynamic parts of the world” – Financial Times

Czechs write to Stoppard urging UK to stay in EU

Snip20160517_4“More than 30 prominent Czechs including the former ambassador to London Michael Žantovský, the supermodel Eva Herzigová and the conductor Jiři Bělohlávek have signed a letter to Sir Tom Stoppard urging the UK to stay in the EU. The letter, addressed to the Czech-born playwright – born Tomáš Straussler – says the UK plays an important ‘balancing role’ in European politics. Stoppard said he was ‘complimented’ and ‘rather honoured’ to have received the letter and agreed with the sentiments expressed” – Guardian

Rees-Mogg: Our next leader will be a Brexiter

“As the debate on the EU referendum intensifies, so do the possibilities for a split in the Conservative party… An important point for those who want to leave the EU is that the Conservative party in the country at large has the final vote in any leadership contest. It will vote for a Brexiter because it is overwhelmingly Eurosceptic and the British love a gallant loser” – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Financial Times



Sylvester: The Tories need a new breed of modernisers

“Part of Cameron’s legacy could be, ‘I changed the face of the Conservative party.’ This is about policies, not just personalities. The 2020 Group, set up five years ago as a forum for new Tory MPs from the ‘progressive centre ground’, is meeting regularly between now and June 23 to draw up a radical programme for reform. They are working on policies that they hope could move the Conservatives on from their obsession with Europe” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

Johnson links university teaching to fees

JOHNSON Jo“Students who suffer poor teaching at university will have their fees reduced in an attempt to improve standards. Universities will be ranked for the first time under an Ofsted-style system… Jo Johnson, the universities minister, resisted a concerted lobbying campaign from institutions to drop any link between teaching quality assessments and fee increases” – The Times (£)


“Independent” head of anti-semitism inquiry joins Labour

“The woman appointed to lead an independent inquiry into Labour antisemitism joined the party hours before it began, raising questions over the impartiality of the review. Shami Chakrabarti, the human rights campaigner, defended her decision and insisted that she would conduct the investigation ‘without fear or favour” – The Times (£)

  • Tariq Ali says Corbyn is “completely opposed to the EU” – Independent
  • McDonnell says Labour can rescue EU debate from Tory negativity – Guardian
  • Corbyn’s man in the City, Richard Burgon, does not appear very interested – Financial Times
  • Cameron is going to steal Labour’s voters and Corbyn will never understand why – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Two SNP MPs leave their wives over the same woman

Serena Cowdy“As a journalist at Westminster, she is a keen observer of political gossip, intrigue and in-fighting. But now Serena Cowdy is at the centre of her very own bust-up after having affairs with two married MPs from the SNP, the Daily Mail can reveal. Stewart Hosie, 53, and Angus MacNeil, 45, have each left their wife following a relationship with the 36-year-old writer” – Daily Mail

Enraged Sanders backers could sink Clinton

“Just because the presidency looks like Hillary Clinton’s to lose doesn’t mean it can’t be lost. Last weekend the Nevada Democratic Party held its state convention in Las Vegas, but instead of a stately coronation, the proceedings ended in an ugly melee…while enraged Sanders backers cursed and threw chairs. Footage like this from Philadelphia could cost the Democrats the election” – D.D.Guttenplan, The Nation

  • Trump still hostile to both Cameron and Khan – Independent

News in brief

  • World powers agree to arm Libyan state – Financial Times
  • Briton who went missing six years ago found in Spain – Daily Telegraph
  • House prices fall in Notting Hill and Hampstead – Guardian