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Davis: The ECJ is not ‘necessary or appropriate’

‘The Brexit Secretary will declare that Britain ‘will take back control of its laws’ as the judges in Luxembourg will no longer have supremacy over the country’s courts. But Mr Davis last night faced accusations of a ‘climbdown’ as he will stop short of demanding a completely clean break from the European Court of Justice. In the latest in a series of papers setting out Britain’s negotiating position, he will reject the European Commission’s call for the rights of EU citizens living in Britain to be enforced by the ECJ following the country’s departure. Mr Davis will make clear ‘it is not necessary or appropriate for the European Court of Justice to have direct jurisdiction over a non-member state’ and say ‘such an arrangement would be unprecedented’. The Brexit Secretary will, however, leave open the door to the ECJ having some influence on our laws, saying British judges will have the option of taking account of judgments made at the court in Luxembourg.’ – Daily Mail

  • Lib Dems claim the position paper is a ‘climb-down’ – The Times
  • The Government is right, the ECJ is completely unacceptable – The Sun Says
  • EU citizens in Britain must live under British law – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Are Brexiteers ready for what could replace it? – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph
  • Raab: the UK will keep ‘half an eye’ on EU law, but will not follow it – The Guardian
  • Why the EFTA court model could still be controversial – FT
  • Baroness Hale suggests ministers should have a role in selecting Supreme Court judges – The Times

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Of course it’s hard to escape a would-be superstate. The very difficulty demonstrates why we’re leaving.

>Yesterday: David Lidington on Comment: Mutual recognition of UK and EU courts would show that both sides are putting citizens first

Non-EU immigration likely to stay above 150,000 a year

‘Mass immigration from outside Europe is ‘unlikely to fall significantly’ unless ministers introduce tough new measures, a report warns today. The scope to tackle migration from non-EU nationals will be limited unless the Government takes ‘further and determined action’, according to a respected think-tank. MigrationWatch said net migration from outside the Brussels bloc – those people arriving minus those leaving – was likely to run at 155,000 a year until 2021. That would be the equivalent of more than the population of Slough – 146,000 – arriving from the rest of the world every 12 months for the next five years. It currently stands at 175,000.’ – Daily Mail

Surprise surplus in July

‘The national debt shrank last month thanks to the first July surplus for 15 years, giving the chancellor a boost as he prepares for his first autumn budget. The state raised £200 million more in tax than it spent, confounding economists who had forecast borrowing to rise from £308 million last July to as much as £1.5 billion. The figures could provide Philip Hammond with an opportunity to lift austerity. Since June’s election, pressure has been mounting for an end to the public sector pay cap and more investment in areas such as housing. George Osborne, the former chancellor, urged his successor to invest in rail links in the north of England.’ – The Times

Grayling tells political leaders in the North to ‘step up’ to improve transport

‘The north of England should take responsibility for improving its poor rail links, the transport secretary has said as he rejected claims that plans for a high-speed line between Liverpool and Hull had been abandoned. Chris Grayling told politicians and business leaders in the region to “step up” and deliver better roads and railways with money already provided by government. He said Labour MPs were wrong to cast doubts on plans for a new trans-Pennine line, known as HS3 or Northern Powerhouse Rail. In a speech today Theresa May is expected to address the proposals and the wider Northern Powerhouse project, which has slipped down the government’s agenda since the prime minister sacked George Osborne, who had championed it as chancellor. Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, wrote on Twitter: “[We] need better than this from the transport secretary. We are ready to play our part. But can’t solve without serious backing from government.”’ – The Times

>Today: Tony Lodge on Comment: Exposing Labour’s double standards on rail

How Gove became an environmentalist

‘“The signals that he’s sent have been very positive. He’s gone out of his way to engage,” said Martin Harper, director of conservation at the charity RSPB. “We need reforming secretaries of state.” Mr Gove’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced plans to reform Britain’s fisheries policy, to make all abattoirs install CCTV, and to cut down on plastic waste in the oceans. He has also criticised US president Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change, and told Sheffield city council that its plans to cut down thousands of trees would “surely damage our children’s rightful inheritance”…his shift to focusing on the environment marks the latest evolution of Mr Gove, who has previously been a newspaper columnist panicked by radical Islam, an education secretary committed to restoring English authors to the school curriculum, a justice secretary intent on reforming prisons and a Brexiter willing to betray his friend, David Cameron.’ – FT

  • Ministers, stung by high Hinkley costs, mull rethink of nuclear – FT

Security risk as Italy and Libya struggle to address migrant crisis

‘Libya requires urgent help from Europe to stem the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the country’s prime minister told The Times. Faiez Serraj, 57, head of the UN-backed unity government based in Tripoli, criticised Europe’s response — which he said did not “match the challenges Libya is facing”. Italy and Libya had been left to shoulder the burden alone, he said. Years of conflict in Libya have ravaged the economy, created a security vacuum and left Tripoli unable to cope with the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed illegally into the country, eager to get to Italy. “We can no longer handle illegal migration as we used to, due to the increasing numbers,” he said. “We have limited financial, logistical, and security resources. Europe’s response does not match the challenges we are facing.”’ – The Times

  • Libya warns that there may be terrorists among the migrants – The Sun
  • Crisis pushes Italy to the right – The Times
  • Minister warns Italy’s democracy is now at risk – The Times
  • How the EU’s refugee relocation scheme failed miserably – The Times
  • This failure is dangerous – The Times Leader
  • The Home Office drew up but didn’t publish its own Project Fear report in the referendum – The Times

Finkelstein: As conservatism becomes more working class, there are populist battles ahead

‘The more conservatives seek support among the less well-off and in areas where old industries are dying, the sharper becomes this issue to them and the bigger the challenge. This is bound to lead, and is already leading, to a more statist conservatism of the sort propounded by Donald Trump or by the Tories here at the last general election. Populist parties and administrations tend to collapse in chaos, as happened to Ukip and as is happening to the Trump administration. The claim to be the single voice of the people leads one populist to turn upon another. It often makes a comic spectacle. But the politics of Bannon and Farage is far from over, either on the fringe or in the mainstream. There are big battles yet to come and they will both be around to fight them.’ – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Trump is powerless and May should avoid him

NHS England plans to make it easier to become a GP

‘Aspiring GPs who fail their exams will be allowed to resit them up to six times and thousands of new recruits will be brought in from abroad under plans to plug gaps in surgeries. Doctors struggling to qualify as a GP will be given more time to pass and be allowed two extra resits under proposals to boost the numbers. Professional leaders said that the move could let incompetent staff in “through the back door”. NHS England confirmed plans yesterday to bring in 2,000 foreign GPs in an “industrial scale” recruitment programme as it labours to meet promises of 5,000 more by 2020.’ – The Times

  • Ludlow hospital turns down donation from cross-dressing charity event – Daily Mail

Labour’s Naz Shah Likes and Retweets a message telling sex abuse victims to ‘shut their mouths’

‘A rising star of the Labour Party who is a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn shared a Twitter post telling sex abuse victims of the Rotherham scandal to ‘shut their mouths for the good of diversity’.
Naz Shah, who represents Bradford West, shared and liked the post by a parody account of newspaper columnist Owen Jones. It said: ‘Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity.’ It comes just days after Ms Shah, 43, penned an open letter attacking fellow Labour MP Sarah Champion for writing an article stating ‘Britain had a problem with Pakistani men targeting vulnerable white girls’.’ – Daily Mail

  • Labour hypocrisy over zero hours contracts – Daily Telegraph
  • The IFS finds that the richest would avoid Corbyn’s tax hikes – The Times

Shadow minister proposes women-only train carriages (again)

‘Women-only train carriages should be considered to combat increasing sexual violence on public transport, a Labour frontbencher has said. Shadow fire minister Chris Williamson said creating separate travelling arrangements for female passengers might offer “a safe space” for women as sexual offences on trains have more than doubled in the past five years. It follows a 17-year-old girl being sexually assaulted twice, by two different men on a train journey between Newquay and Plymouth as she made her way home from the Boardmasters festival on August 12. Some 1,448 offences were reported in 2016/17, compared with 650 incidents in 2012/2013, British Transport Police figures show. The idea was initially suggested by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during his 2015 leadership bid, but the plans were dropped after attracting criticism, including from prominent women Labour MPs such as Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.’ – Daily Telegraph

SNP councillor criticises MP’s toddlers

‘Moira Shelmit, a SNP councillor in West Lothian, posted a snide tweet about a picture published online by Paul Masterton MP, which showed his little girl wearing a pink jacket as she began her first walk to nursery school. Mr Masterton’s tweeted picture also showed her little brother and was captioned: “Momentous day in the Masterton house as Daisy starts big girl nursery. Just about holding it together. Wee bro looks chuffed to get peace.” Ms Shelmit responded to the East Renfrewshire MP’s post by tweeting: “Pink and sheep for girls. Tuff trucks for boys. @BBCWomen’sHour #genderstereotyping.” Mr Masterton responded angrily. He tweeted: “How dare you! You should be ashamed shaming parents in this way. For info: we let Daisy pick her own clothes, so what if she likes pink?’ – The Scotsman

  • Cybernat arrested for alleged harassment – Daily Telegraph
  • Holyrood and Cardiff co-operate on Brexit strategy – FT

Hastings: May should not contribute British troops to Trump’s Afghan surge

‘Since Trump has made it a big pitch of his presidency to demand that America’s allies contribute more to Western security, and explicitly to Nato, he is calling on others, including Britain, to take up their share of the burden of troop reinforcements. At a time when Mrs May is deeply anxious to secure American goodwill amid the looming prospect of Brexit, she will find it hard to say no, knowing that refusal will at best irritate, at worst anger Washington. Yet I believe she should decline. Seven years ago, the Americans had 100,000 troops fighting the Taliban, the British 11,000, other Nato members more. They failed to beat them then; there seems no reason to suppose they can beat them now.’ – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Body of missing journalist found in Copenhagen – Daily Mail
  • Child breaks 800-year-old coffin in museum – The Times
  • Boy arrested in Saudi Arabia for dancing the Macarena – Daily Telegraph
  • For the BBC school of history, everything is Britain’s fault – Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail
  • 31 people arrested in pre-Notting Hill Carnival raids – The Times
  • Call for police to hire 12,000 computer experts – The Sun
  • MPs probe university pension deficit – FT

22 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 23rd August 2017

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