Immigration

BBC News
There could be a spike in UK migration ahead of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union and the possible end to free movement rights, MPs have warned. The Home Affairs Committee urged the government to state an “effective cut-off date” for when EU citizens in the UK would be granted the right to stay. It added there could be fresh delays and backlogs in the immigration system if more people tried to enter the UK. Ministers said it would be “wrong” to set out details before exit talks. The government has confirmed it will seek curbs on free movement rules that currently give EU nationals the right to live and work in other member states.

Guardian
Britain is likely to experience a surge in immigration amid the uncertainty of the negotiations to leave the EU, according to a committee of MPs, who say it is imperative for the government to offer EU citizens living in the country confirmation of their status. The home affairs select committee called on ministers to prepare and fully resource the country’s immigration agencies to make sure they can handle the “heavy extra demands that will be placed on them by the fallout from Brexit”. It also claimed it would become more difficult to remove offenders who are EU nationals from the UK “on paper” and in practice after Britain leaves the EU.

Telegraph
Britain faces a huge “surge” in European Union migrants before leaving the bloc unless Theresa May enforces a “cut off” date on those arriving, MPs have warned. The Home Affairs select committee has suggested three dates after which EU migrants cannot claim permanent residence, the earliest being the referendum date a month ago.  Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said while EU citizens in Britain must not be used as “pawns in a complicated chess game” there was a chance of a migration surge. 

 

Terror

Express
A WAVE of terror in Europe has sparked fears that Britain could become the next victim of terrorism. ISIS has claimed responsibility for a brutal terror attack in which a priest had his throat cut at a church in Normandy today.  It comes after a week of violent attacks in Germany and the Bastille Day massacre, which killed 84 people, in Nice earlier this month.  This rise in terrorism has heightened fears of further acts of terrorism in other parts of Europe such as the UK. Prime Minister Theresa May said “we all face a terror threat” after ISIS militants killed a priest at a church in Normandy today.  “If you look at the national threat level here in the United Kingdom, it is at severe. That means that a terrorist attack is highly likely,” she said.

Sun
ISIS have warned that London is next on it’s hit list following yesterday’s attack on a church in France where a priest was stormed by two IS fanatics. Images threatening attacks in London and other major world capitals have been posted on jihadi messaging app Telegram, according to SITE Intelligence Group. The threat comes just hours after intelligence services warned that an attack in the UK is “highly likely” following the recent atrocities in Europe. Security at British churches is also being ramped up after ISIS knifemen forced a French priest to kneel before slitting his throat on camera. British counter-terror police have now “circulated specific advice” to churches across the UK amid fears of a similar attack. Senior Met cop Neil Basu said: “Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. “We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements.”

Mail
Police last night warned Britain’s Christians to be on alert amid fears they could be targeted by Islamic State jihadists. Security was increased at the country’s 47,000 churches after an 84-year-old priest was beheaded by Muslim fanatics in France. The killing in Normandy was the first known attack claimed by IS inside a church in the West after compiling a hitlist of places of Christian worship. Adel Kermiche, one of the two French teenagers killed by police after carrying out the morning slaughter – filmed on a mobile phone – told a friend two months ago: ‘I’m going to do a church.’ Last night counter-terror police in Britain disclosed they had ‘circulated specific advice’ to places of worship. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: ‘Following recent events in France, we are reiterating our protective security advice to Christian places of worship and have circulated specific advice today. We are also taking this opportunity to remind them to review their security arrangements as a precaution.

Telegraph
A terrorist attack in the UK is “highly likely” following attacks in other parts of Europe, a five-judge tribunal has been told, as churches in Britain are told to tighten security after the murder of an 85-year-old priest in Normandy. The heightened state of security comes as images threatening attacks in London and other major world capitals were reportedly posted on jihadi messaging app Telegram. Despite there being no specific intelligence relating to attacks against the Christian community in the UK, the National Police Chiefs’ Council is urging the community to be alert but not alarmed, report concerns and review their security as a precaution.

Mail
Theresa May today warned the terror threat in Britain remains ‘severe’ as she offered assistance to France following the latest ISIS atrocity. The Prime Minister said the terrorists ‘will not win’ as she vowed to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with France. Mrs May spoke out in solidarity hours after an 84-year-old priest, named as Jacques Hamel, had his throat cut and a nun was left critically injured in hospital. French President Francois Hollande says France is at war following the raid which saw five people held hostage by ISIS assailants shouting Allahu Akbar. Speaking in Downing Street, Mrs May said: ‘We all face a terror threat. If you look at the national threat level here in the United Kingdom, it is at severe. That means that a terrorist attack is highly likely. ‘What is necessary is for us all to work together, and stand shoulder to shoulder with France. We offer them every support we have in dealing with this issue and this threat that they, and the rest of us, are facing.’


The economy

Reuters
Britain could borrow nearly 65 billion pounds ($85 billion) more than planned in the next couple of years as new finance minister Philip Hammond seeks to ‘reset’ government budget policy to ease the shock of last month’s vote to leave the European Union. Ratings agencies and economists widely expect borrowing to rise materially next year for the first time since 2010, as Hammond has to call time – temporarily – on the austerity which dominated his predecessor George Osborne’s six years in office. After taking office two weeks ago, Hammond said the darker post-Brexit outlook meant policies the Conservative government had pursued since 2010 needed to change – and economists are now starting to put numbers on what this might mean.

 

General Election

Independent
Theresa May’s Conservatives have extended their lead over Labour to 16-points in a new opinion poll, prompting fresh speculation the new Prime Minister may call an early general election. On current parliamentary boundaries, the latest of four survey’s reflecting the premier’s honeymoon period would increase the party’s slender majority of 12 to a massive 102.  Some 44 Labour MPs would lose their seats if the new ICM poll were borne out, leaving the party with only 188 MPs.  For now, such figures are fantasy politics, and considered unlikely to change the Prime Minister’s statement that she will not seek an election before the one due in 2020.

 

Labour leadership

Sky News
More than two and a half million people who voted Labour at the last election would choose Theresa May over Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister, a new poll shows. When asked which leader they would prefer to lead the country, 29% of Labour voters – equivalent to 2.7 million people – opted for the Conservative Party’s new PM. The YouGov survey for The Times also found that Mrs May’s government enjoys a 12-point lead over Labour in general. It is the biggest gap between the two parties in the six years since Labour fell from power in 2010.

Times
More than two and a half million people who voted Labour in last year’s general election think that Theresa May would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn, according to a new poll. Mrs May’s Conservative government leads Labour by 12 points, the largest gap since her party returned to Downing Street six years ago, a YouGov survey for The Times found. It is a bigger lead than Gordon Brown achieved during his bounce after succeeding Tony Blair. Labour dropped to its lowest share of the vote since the eve of the election in 2010.

Mirror
Labour chiefs will ban “abusive” supporters from voting in the party’s leadership contest, they announced today. General Secretary Iain McNicol urged fellow members to report behaviour after officials, MPs and supporters were “shouted down, intimidated and abused”. It’s understood the move will mean members and supporters could have their votes cancelled retrospectively – even if they have already cast them. And it could lead to votes being cancelled from people who are under investigation even if they later reinstated to the party.

BBC News
A legal challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s right to automatically stand in the Labour leadership has been heard at the High Court in London, with a decision expected to be handed down on Thursday. Donor and former candidate Michael Foster is contesting Labour’s decision to allow Mr Corbyn on to the ballot paper without having to secure nominations from 50 other MPs and MEPs. Labour’s National Executive Committee backed the move by 18 to 14 votes. Mr Corbyn is taking on Owen Smith.

 

UKIP leadership

BBC News
UKIP ex-deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans says she has given up hope of becoming the party’s next leader – but insists she will not “give up” on UKIP. Ms Evans, who is currently suspended from UKIP, said she would “very much like” to run but a “handful of people at the top” had ensured she could not. Ms Evans’ six-month ban for bringing the party into disrepute – claims she has dismissed – means she cannot stand. She said she would back councillor Lisa Duffy to succeed Nigel Farage. Ms Evans said UKIP needed to “break free of its hard-right image and set itself firmly in the common sense centre-ground” and also conduct some “internal reform”.

Sky News
Former UKIP leadership favourite Suzanne Evans says she has “given up hope” of leading the party as she endorsed a little-known female councillor to replace Nigel Farage. Ms Evans, who is still suspended from UKIP and can’t actually vote, is supporting Cambridgeshire councillor Lisa Duffy to move the party away from its “hard Right” politics. In a scathing attack on Mr Farage’s leadership, Ms Evans claimed he ran it with contempt for others, as a “one-man band” akin to the tea party movement in the US.

 

Parliament

BBC News
A Labour MP’s claim that her office was entered without her permission does not amount to a possible breach of Commons rules, says Speaker John Bercow. Seema Malhotra had complained to Mr Bercow that aides to leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell gained “unauthorised entry”. Mr Bercow said this did not suggest any breach of MPs’ parliamentary privilege. Ms Malhotra said she “regretted the distress” caused on both sides but said the episode “should not have happened”. Mr McDonnell has called on her to apologise.

Morning Star
A LABOUR MP who accused Jeremy Corbyn’s aides of entering her office without permission weeks after she’d quit the shadow cabinet was told there was no basis to her complaint yesterday. Commons Speaker John Bercow told Seema Malhotra — who quit her post as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury in the bumbling bid to unseat Mr Corbyn — that the behaviour in her complaint did not breach parliamentary rules. The Feltham & Heston MP demanded Mr Bercow investigate after accusing an aide of Labour leader Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell of violating her security, describing the incident as “illegal access.” Mr Bercow replied: “Having taken advice, I am satisfied that there is nothing in your letter or in the information subsequently elicited by the deputy Serjeant at Arms which would justify regarding these events as a possible breach.”

 

Nexit

Express
THE BREXIT victory has sparked calls for the Netherlands to follow Britain’s example and leave the EU. Eurosceptic Dutch politicians are pushing for a Nexit – or Netherlands exit – from the EU in the wake of the Brexit vote. Far-right leader Geert Wilders, from the anti-Islam Freedom party, is leading calls for a Dutch referendum on EU membership.  Mr Wilders immediately seized on the Brexit victory in Britain and said: “The Dutch population deserves a referendum as well. “The Party for Freedom (PVV) demands therefore a referendum on Nexit, a Dutch EU exit.”  Mr Wilders and his party have been leading in several polls ahead of the next parliamentary elections in the Netherlands in March.

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