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Hammond threatens that Britain will “go it alone” on sat nav scheme

“Philip Hammond has warned the EU the UK will “go it alone” and build a new satellite navigation system if shut out of the Galileo project after Brexit. The chancellor said the UK wanted to remain a “core member” of the EU-wide scheme, which it has helped pay for. But if this was not possible, he said the UK would develop a rival scheme as access to the data satellites provided was vital for national security. The issue has become an emerging dividing line in the Brexit talks. The UK has demanded £1bn back from the EU if the bloc carries through on its plan to exclude Britain from Galileo, which was developed by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.” – BBC

  • Britain’s MEPs could be forced to stay in Strasbourg after Brexit – The Sun
  • Weak economic growth – The Times
  • Toughen up now, Mrs May — you have two weeks to save Brexit and your Government – The Sun Says
  • UK should not be afraid to walk away from the EU – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Majority of EU27 favour ‘simple’ approach on Britons’ residency – The Guardian
  • The EU should stop “posturing” says Davis – Daily Express

Oborne: The biggest threat to the EU is from Italy

“While Brussels negotiators continue to stymie Brexit, European politicians are facing a much bigger threat to the European Union. I refer to events of the past few days in Italy, which will be Europe’s third largest economy after Britain leaves the European Union. This week, a new government was formed — Italy’s 66th since the end of World War II. The new prime minister, Guiseppe Conte, heads a rag-bag coalition of the anti-Establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League. They agree on very little but there is one policy on which they are in harmony: a hatred of Brussels. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr Conte, a former law professor at Florence University, has the power to bring about the collapse of the EU.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

  • New Italian Finance Minister wants to quit the Euro – The Sun
  • Irish Euro MP says EU tax harmonisation plans “not working” – Daily Express

Plot for Gove to be PM – followed by Davidson

“Tory grandees are hatching a ‘dream plan’ for Michael Gove to serve as caretaker Prime Minister and step down for Ruth Davidson in 2021. The plot comes as a consensus emerges among frustrated Tory MPs that Theresa May will be forced out in a year’s time as soon as Brexit is delivered next March. As many as 30 ambitious Tory MPs have already begun canvassing for support to replace her as party boss. But several senior figures have now settled on a master plan, dubbed the ‘Gove-Davidson succession’. Under the plot, Environment Secretary and leading Brexiteer Mr Gove would take the keys to No 10 for two years to finish the Brexit negotiations and transition period. Ms Davidson, 39, has vowed to fight the Holyrood Parliament elections in 2021 in a bid to oust SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon.” – The Sun

Jury takes less than an hour to clear Holden to sexual assault charges

“A former special adviser to Sir Michael Fallon who was acquitted of sexual assault has said he was cruelly and publicly shamed during a trial that he claims should never have come to court.  Richard Holden said it was a “travesty” that the case against him had been pursued and it added to concerns about the actions of the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He had been accused of groping a woman under her skirt at a party in London in 2016. The jury of eight men and four women returned unanimous verdicts after deliberating for less than an hour…Mr Holden said: “This case was not about consent. What was alleged did not happen. This allegation was supposed to have taken place in a room of 15 to 20 people, none of whom corroborated the claim. Today’s unanimous verdict, delivered by the jury in such a short space of time, attests to my innocence, which I have maintained throughout. That this case has been pursued at all is a travesty. It has been a cruel public shaming and an utter waste of time and resources.” – Daily Telegraph

There are too many people in prison declares Gauke

“David Gauke is not afraid to challenge the traditionalists. In his measured, slightly metronomic tone, he delivers the radical message that there are now too many people in jail. “Twenty five years ago the [prison] population was 44,000. Today it’s 84,000. I would like it to fall.” He adds: “I don’t think we should have an arbitrary number and say we’re going to get it to 60,000 or 70,000 because I think it depends on how successfully we can build confidence in non-custodial sentences and how effective we can be in reducing reoffending.” But he does want a concerted effort to drastically reduce the number of people who are being locked up every year, pointing out that crime has fallen while the prison population has almost doubled. “What has driven [the rise] is longer and tougher sentences for serious crimes. There is an issue about public protection but I think we need to look at the efficacy of short sentences.” – Interview with David Gauke, The Times

  • Short custodial sentences clog up prisons – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gauke makes a start on prison rehabilitation – the neglected conservative mission

Gove urges the British to eat more lamb

“British diners should relish the lamb produced by the nation’s farmers, Michael Gove said yesterday. The environment secretary said that he did not understand why every second sandwich in shops was “chicken or tuna, never lamb”. Mr Gove said he wanted to encourage people to value “the high-quality food that we produce here”, much like the French valued “local food production and terroir and provenance”. He was answering a question at the Hay Festival about the export of 94 per cent of lamb produced in Wales, while 50 per cent of New Zealand’s European Union lamb quota came to Britain.” – The Times

Exit polls indicate a big majority in Ireland voted to legalise abortion

“Exit polls published after Ireland’s referendum on abortion suggest a large vote in favour of liberalising the law. Polls by The Irish Times and RTE suggest about 69% voted to repeal a part of the constitution that effectively bans terminations. Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar, who supported the reforms, said it looked as if the country was about to “make history”. Official counting of votes will begin at 09:00 local time. Those taking part in Friday’s referendum were asked whether they wanted to repeal or retain a part of the constitution known as the Eighth Amendment, which says an unborn child has the same right to life as a pregnant woman.” – BBC

Public backs a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants

“Three in five people want the Government’s immigration policy to make it as “difficult as possible” for illegal immigrants to remain in the UK, according to a new poll. But the Ipsos MORI research also shows that, in the wake of the Windrush scandal, three in five of us believe that priority should be given to ensuring that people who do have the legal right to remain are not wrongly forced to leave.The research makes it clear that, despite opposing illegal migration, the majority of the British public believe those with the legal right to live in the UK should be prioritised “even if this means some illegal immigrants are not deported”.” – Daily Telegraph

“Utter failure” of scheme to resettle Afghan interpreters into the UK

“A scheme aimed at helping Afghan civilians who worked as interpreters for the Army has proved an “utter failure”, MPs have said. The Commons Defence Committee said not a single person potentially at risk of Taliban reprisals had been resettled in the UK so far via the initiative. It had gone to “considerable lengths” to stop their relocation, it argued. Campaigners warned of “false hopes” but ministers said the aim was to enable people to live safely in their country. The cross-party report said the Intimidation Scheme’s shortcomings were in marked contrast to another initiative, known as the Redundancy Scheme, which has seen 1,150 Afghans re-homed in Britain.” – BBC

An independent Scotland “would keep the pound”

“An independent Scotland would keep the pound for at least 10 years under proposals set out by the SNP’s Growth Commission. The country could potentially then move towards introducing its own currency if six economic tests were met. The commission was set up two years ago to build a new economic case for independence following the Brexit vote. Opposition parties say the SNP’s pursuit of independence is doing nothing for Scotland’s economy.” – BBC

  • £5 billion a year would be paid to the UK as a contribution to National Debt – The Herald

Macron “close to victory” in battle with the rail unions

“When Emmanuel Macron pinned the future of his presidency on a revamp of France’s state railways, the political scientist Dominique Andolfatto declared it “supreme combat on which our collective future depended”. Today, the French president appears closer to winning his reform of France’s railways after moderate unions signalled a possible end to strikes that have disrupted the country for seven weeks….Despite 22 days of chaos on the railways since early April, Mr Macron has yielded no ground to the unions on the key points: turning the SNCF into a viable enterprise; opening the system to competition and ending the special privileges of railway workers for future recruits. The strike turnout has fallen to 14 per cent of the SNCF work force and the reform legislation is on track through parliament to become law next month.” – The Times

Moore: Don’t “modernise” the Coronation Oath

“Once you start inventing new forms of words, you invite disagreement. If there’s something in it for, say, Muslims, what about Sikhs or Hindus? Everyone chips in. It becomes like those initials that started as LGBT and have now become (I promise you) LGBTQQIPS2AA. As a Roman Catholic, I am not offended that my Sovereign swears to govern and uphold a Church different from my own, but if he widens his oaths to defend faith more generally, I might become more demanding. Don’t let’s go there.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Forsyth: Voters don’t want tax increases

“At political Cabinet on Tuesday, ministers were shown polling that neatly highlights the Tory dilemma. When voters are asked what is the most important issue facing the country, they reply Brexit and the NHS.But when they are asked what the most pressing issue is for them, they say the cost of living. And what’s the most popular Tory policy since the election? The stamp duty cut for first-time buyers. The political implications of all this is clear: Voters, who are most worried about the cost of living, won’t thank politicians who hike their taxes…It is also hard to see how any tax increase could get through the Commons.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Payne: Reinventing themselves while in Government is a huge challenge for the Conservatives

“Warm plonk. Sweat dripping down foreheads. Boisterous men trying to outdo each other. After-hours gatherings like this have been a regular occurrence in Westminster lately as Britain’s centre right plots its future….Onward, the latest ginger group to launch this week, favours a mix of social liberalism with a dollop of market interventionism. It is the most interesting of the new outfits and starts from two key insights: first, that younger people (my generation) have little faith in capitalism because they have no capital; and second, that the centre ground is ripe for the taking. Forget a new centrist party, this group wants to annex that territory from the inside. Former prime minister David Cameron partly succeeded with his “modernisation” programme a decade ago. Onward believes it can be done again. But reinvention while in government is a gruelling, if not impossible, task.” – Sebastian Payne, Financial Times

Parris: A ringfenced NHS tax would be dishonest

“Every time politicians ringfence this or that, or hypothecate a named source of revenue to a named expenditure (the sugar tax, for instance, is supposed to be invested in schools projects), a cheap, populist cheer is enjoyed at the expense of administrative logic, and the bits of public policy that do not have ringfencing or an earmarked source of tax revenue tremble. If it is right to tax sugary drinks, they should be taxed irrespective of where this particular money ends up. If school projects need an extra billion they should get it, regardless of whether or not sugar is taxed. If the public reject higher taxes, responsible politicians should not defer to imaginary ropes tying some taxes to some purposes, or fencing off others from cuts; they should make their own judgments where the axe should fall.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: We can’t just tax our way to a better NHS

News in brief

  • How the West got rich by following ‘the four Rs’ – Art Carden and Deirdre McCloskey, CapX
  • Brexit was the culmination of a decades-long struggle against European political integration – Tristan Jervis, Brexit Central
  • The six tricks Mark Carney used to cook up his ‘Brexit costs you £900’ figure – Steerpike, The Spectator
  • John McCain’s last stand – Tim Shipman, New Statesman
  • In defence of Jacob Rees-Mogg – Iain Martin, Reaction

11 comments for: Newslinks for Saturday 26th May 2018

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