EU

The Telegraph leads with a report on Hammond’s views on the EU: “Britain has to be prepared to walk away from the EU

With Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and the rise of jihadist groups such as Isil in the Middle East, Mr Hammond is struggling with the busiest overseas policy agenda faced by a foreign secretary in years. But, in the official residence of the High Commissioner in Ghana ahead of a seven-hour flight back to the UK, his focus is on the EU, immigration, and the by-election.

Ahead of Thursday’s crucial vote, which the Conservatives face losing to Ukip, Mr Hammond has chosen to go further than even David Cameron in warning that Britain could leave the EU if the country does not gain control over its borders. Britain must get “substantial, meaningful reform” from Brussels ahead of the in-out referendum Mr Cameron has pledged to hold in 2017, Mr Hammond says. He makes clear that the Government is now “prepared to stand up from the table and walk away”.

The Daily Mail reports from their interview with him: “We’ll never fully control our borders while we’re in the EU says Hammond: Foreign Secretary admits Britain’s desire to avoid ‘destabilising movement’ of migrants is incompatible with membership of EU

Britain can never have full control over national borders as long as we remain a member of the European Union, the Foreign Secretary has admitted. Philip Hammond warned the British people will vote to leave the EU if we do not get reform. In a forthright interview, Mr Hammond said ‘destabilising movements’ across Europe in recent years had seen ‘large waves of migrants’ settling in Britain, putting pressure on public services.

He said Germany should realise that if we do not get new powers to at least limit the number of migrants from the Continent, British voters will choose to leave the EU in the 2017 referendum. ‘If your ambition is that we have total unfettered control of our own borders to do what we like, that isn’t compatible with membership of the European Union, it’s as simple as that,’ he said. ‘So if that’s what you want, you’re essentially talking about leaving the European Union.

UKIP and Rochester

The Torygraph’s guns are blazing at UKIP with the 2nd headline of: “PM: Ukip Rochester win would be ‘just another notch’ for Nigel Farage

David Cameron warns that victory for Ukip in the Rochester by-election will spell ‘greater danger of insecurity and instability’. Ukip will treat success in the Rochester by-election next week as “just another notch” for Nigel Farage which he will celebrate with a “pint in the pub”, David Cameron has warned.

Mr Cameron said that victory for Ukip will create a “greater danger of insecurity and instability” for the economy because it will make a Tory government less likely at the General Election. He refused to discuss what defeat would mean for the Tories, saying his focus is on campaigning for a win for the Conservative candidate, Kelly Tolhurst.

UKIP and Farage

Meanwhile, the Telegraph’s tame socialist, Dan Hodges, has this to say: “Nigel Farage is desperate for Ukip to join the cosy Westminster clique

The Ukip leader’s ego has turned him into a man obsessed with being accepted by the establishment

I was reminded of (the story about Groucho Marx refusing to join a club) yesterday when I saw Nigel Farage issuing his latest demand for a television debate, this time with Ed Miliband. After his triumphant face-off with Nick Clegg, Ukip’s leader can’t get enough of debating. He wants to debate Ed Miliband. He wants to debate Clegg again. He desperately, desperately, wants to debate David Cameron. He doesn’t seem quite so keen on debating Natalie Bennett, but if no one else was available, I’m sure she’d do.

For a man who professes to despise the British establishment, Nigel Farage is becoming increasingly frantic in his efforts to join it. Last week, he launched a crude attempt to gatecrash the Remembrance Sunday services at the Cenotaph. “In the last national election Ukip got 4.4 million votes and none of those people are being represented on Sunday,” he said, “despite the fact there are political parties with far smaller votes than that being represented.” It was quietly pointed out to him that the Queen wasn’t attending for fun, and the convention was party leaders with six MPs or more were invited to lay a wreath. That didn’t cut any ice with the general of the people’s army. “I’m afraid with this, as with everything else, British politics operates like a closed shop and they don’t want anyone new to get involved,” he fumed.

“Climate Change”

The AGW drum is being banged loud by Obama and the Guardian: “Barack Obama tells G20 a global climate change deal is possible and vital

Barack Obama has stared down both Republican hostility at home and the reluctance of his Australian G20 hosts to insist that the world can clinch a new climate change deal next year. The president used a speech on the sidelines of the G20 in Brisbane, Australia, to confirm what was revealed by the Guardian on Friday: that the US would be contributing $3bn to the Green Climate Fund that aims to help developing nations cope with the effects of global warming.

And he insisted nowhere had more to lose from rising temperatures than the Asia Pacific region and Australia in particular. “No nation is immune and every nation has a responsibility to do its part,” Obama said. “You will recall at the beginning I said the US and Australia has a lot in common. Well one of the things we have in common is we produce a lot of carbon … which means we’ve got to step up.”

There’s a lot of stony ground in Australia…

Cameron and Ukraine

The Guardian reports that Cameron warns Putin as Russian president lashes sanctions

Vladimir Putin has admitted for the first time that he is prepared for his country to face a “catastrophic” slump in oil prices, as David Cameron said Europe would have no choice but to step up sanctions if the Russian president did not abide by previous agreements to respect Ukraine’s independence.

Putin was speaking before a bilateral meeting with Cameron on the margins of the G20 summit in Brisbane. The meeting is likely to be a bruising affair, especially after the British prime minister likened Russia to Nazi Germany, saying Europe had learned lessons from history about how a big country could bully others. Sideline talks between EU leaders and Barack Obama over the Ukraine crisis have also been scheduled.

The Independent reports this in a far more colourful way: “G20 summit: Enter Putin. Accompanied by four warships. To the sound of mockery

Vladimir Putin has stationed four warships close to Australian waters before the G20 leaders’ meeting of the most powerful world economies in Brisbane starts today. The President’s show of naval muscle comes at a time when Russia has drawn global criticism for its intervention in Ukraine, where it is still reportedly sending tanks, artillery and troops.

But it has left David Cameron less than impressed. “I didn’t feel it necessary to bring a warship myself to keep myself safe at this G20, and I’m sure that Putin won’t be in any danger,” he said last night.

Employment in Northampton

The Guardian reports that Northampton unemployed are outraged over sandwich factory’s ‘insult’

It used to be the future of jobs in coalmines and steelworks that roused the passion of British workers and politicians. But this week, in an early skirmish of the 2015 general election campaign, the battle lines were drawn across a different terrain: who should make our crayfish and rocket sandwiches?

From Budapest came news that representatives of a big employer in Caroline Dale’s corner of Northampton – the Greencore sandwich factory – were in Hungary hiring workers for the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour. The 32-year-old mother of five said she had looked for a job for months, had sandwich factory experience and was furious she had not heard about the vacancies.

“I think it is terrible,” she said as she wheeled her son to playgroup. “I would work for £5 an hour. I would do any hard graft; if I had to pick up litter I would do it. We are born and bred here and we are screaming for help. We are looking for these jobs but they are not looking for us.” The sandwich storm blew up on Monday after the Daily Mail’s front page asked: “Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich?”

Iraq

The Independent reports from Iraq: Isis: the Kurds strike back – Army retakes control of oil refinery town as Kurds stand firm against overstretched Isis

Iraqi forces have recaptured the refinery town of Baiji and broken the siege of the giant oil refinery nearby, say officials in Baghdad – in the most important success for the Iraqi government since Isis seized a third of Iraq in June.

Isis fighters, after their spectacular victories in Iraq and Syria over the summer, are overstretched as they seek to extend or defend the vast territories they have seized. A Kurdish general, Najat Ali, commanding Peshmerga soldiers in the town of Makhmour, 50 miles north of Baiji, said yesterday that “Isis has big administrative problems in supplying food and ammunition to its forces in the front line”.

Makhmour, a Kurdish town of 12,000 people, lies just to the east of the Tigris River and was briefly captured by Isis, which calls itself Islamic State, in its offensive in August that led to the start of US air strikes. It too is back in Kurdish hands.

SNP

The Daily Mail reports that: New SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon vows to prop up a Labour government as Scotland’s outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond insists she will will secure Scottish independence

Alex Salmond has stepped down as SNP leader with a prediction that his successor, Nicola Sturgeon, will ‘make history’ and secure independence for Scotland. The outgoing First Minister made the forecast as he addressed the SNP annual conference in Perth shortly after Ms Sturgeon took over the reins as head of the party.

Ms Sturgeon will use her keynote speech today to suggest that her party will prop up a Labour government after the next General Election. And she will pledge that her party will not do a deal with the Conservatives if David Cameron fails to win an overall majority at Westminster next year.

And an SNP-Labour coalition is looking quite likely the way the opinion polls are going in Scotland, with SNP headed for wiping out both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland: Report from UK General Election 2015 site based on a YouGov poll and prediction.

Foreign Aid and Argentina

Even Argentina gets its hands on our Foreign Aid, the Express tells us: Outrage as Argentina milks millions out of UK foreign aid budget

The UK has handed the South American country £225million out of our foreign aid budget over the past 20 years. The money is  our share of loans given to Argentina by the World Bank through its aid subsidiaries. Now the Prime Minister is being urged to prevent any more money being sent there before a final decision on the latest loan is made next month.  The funding is overseen by the Department for International Development and is included in our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our national output on foreign aid.

Britain also contributes £7million to a £50million EU aid programme to Argentina. This is despite the fact that it is a relatively wealthy country, a member of the G20 group of leading economies. MPs want Mr Cameron to press for an end to the controversial payments when he meets world leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane today.

Immigrants and Benefits

The Express reports that there is Fury as immigrant says: I’ll get £25k in benefits when I bring family to UK

BRITAIN’S soft touch benefits system provoked outrage last night after a Romanian scrap yard worker said he plans to bring his family here to pocket £25,000 a year in handouts. The move, allowed under European Union freedom of movement rules, was even denounced by a Labour MP as an “abuse”. One British worker described the handouts the Romanian can expect to get as “a disgrace”.

Nicu Popescu, 30, originally from near Bucharest, came to Britain two years ago and began working in the scrap trade. The father-of-five, who lives in Birmingham, has realised that he and his family can use the benefits system to top up his low income. He has told wife Iuliana, 24, to come over with their children Hagi, Peter, Marta, Mica, and Rubens. Currently sleeping in a single room where he works, Popescu hopes they will be given a three or four bedroom house and extra cash as well.

Paedophile Ring

The Mirror reports that the Westminster paedophile ring ‘child murder’ allegation is investigated by Scotland Yard detectives

The latest allegation comes from a witness who claims he and others were abused by a VIP paedophile ring including a former Cabinet minister, political, military and secret services figures.

A boy was murdered by a ­Westminster paedophile ring said to include an ex-Cabinet minister, it is claimed. Officers are investigating after a key witness is believed to have told them the lad was killed more than three decades ago by the gang – alleged to have also involved top military and secret services figures.

The witness, known as Nick to protect his identity, told the BBC today: “They created fear that penetrated every part of me, day in day out. You didn’t question what they wanted, you did as they asked and the punishments were very severe.” Scotland Yard officers are treating the murder allegation very seriously.

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