EU and Migration

The Telegraph leads with “Prime Minister aims for ‘early progress’ on EU renegotiation

David Cameron has vowed to get his “head down” and “deliver” major reforms from Brussels as he signalled that he is now pushing for an early in-out referendum. Launching a diplomatic blitz across Europe, the Prime Minister said that he wants to “make early progress” on the changes he is demanding as part of his renegotiation with the EU.

“I want to make early progress,” Mr Cameron said at the summit in Riga. “The sooner we can get on with this, the better.”

It is thought that officials are looking to complete the bulk of the renegotiation with European leaders before the end of the year, leaving the door open for a vote in 2016. Mr Cameron admitted that he was not “met with a wall of love” when he arrived at a European summit to begin intensive round of negotiations with his counterparts.

The Guardian’s take  on this story is here: “David Cameron tells EU leaders: I will talk about reform until deal is done

David Cameron has warned fellow European leaders that he wants to get on with EU reform and will bring it up at every summit for the foreseeable future, while dismissing the objections of foreign politicians as “noise”.

The prime minister said he was not greeted with a “wall of love” from other leaders as he used Friday’s EU summit about eastern Europe to begin his campaign for renegotiations.

But attending just one day of the Eastern Partnership Forum in Riga, he managed initial discussions with his counterparts from Sweden, Hungary and Latvia, as well as a brush-by with the prime minister of Poland, and a bear hug from the Bulgarian prime minister.

The Independent has not failed  to notice too, with “EU referendum: David Cameron hints at early vote on Britain’s European Union membership

David Cameron raised the prospect of an early referendum on European Union membership as he launched a diplomatic whirlwind to renegotiate Britain’s place in the EU.

He told other European leaders he had a fresh mandate following his general election victory to win back powers from Brussels to London as he fired the opening shots of what is bound to be a long and tortuous process.

Speaking at the end of an EU summit in the Latvian capital Riga, he said: “I want to make early progress. The sooner we get on with this, the better.”

(Ed: Keep a sharp eye out for the sleight of hand)

Bank of England and Brexit

The Telegraph also has “Bank of England accidentally emails Brexit taskforce plans to newspaper

The Bank of England has accidentally revealed that it has set up a taskforce to look at how a UK exit from the European Union will affect the economy. “Project Bookend” – as the Bank has dubbed the initiative – will be led by Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor and a board member at the Prudential Regulatory Authority.

However, it is how the plans have been revealed that will cause embarrassment at the central bank. Details of the taskforce, as well as how Bank officials should deal with media questions regarding a “Brexit”, were accidentally emailed to The Guardian.

The email was sent from Sir Jon’s secretary to four senior executives at the Bank – Iain de Weymarn, Governor Mark Carney’s private secretary; Nicola Anderson, head of risk assessment in the financial stability department; Phil Evans, director of the international division; and Jenny Scott, executive director communications. However, it was also accidentally forwarded to an editor at The Guardian.

Of course, The Guardian leads on this story with “Secret Bank of England taskforce investigates financial fallout of Brexit

Bank of England officials are secretly researching the financial shocks that could hit Britain if there is a vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum. The Bank blew its cover on Friday when it accidentally emailed details of the project – including how the bank intended to fend off any inquiries about its work – direct to the Guardian.

According to the confidential email, the press and most staff in Threadneedle Street must be kept in the dark about the work underway, which has been dubbed Project Bookend.

It spells out that if anyone asks about the project, the taskforce must say the investigation has nothing to do with the referendum, saying only that staff are involved in examining “a broad range of European economic issues” that concern the Bank.


The Independent leads with “Cash-strapped councils forced to switch off CCTV cameras across UK’s towns and cities

CCTV cameras in towns and cities across the country are being switched off by councils who cannot afford to keep them running, making it “increasingly difficult” for police to investigate serious crimes, the Government’s surveillance camera watchdog has warned.

Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, told The Independent that a rising number of local authorities in England and Wales were shutting down CCTV networks to cope with the Government’s austerity cuts, raising the prospect of a “postcode lottery” for crime detection.


The Telegraph clearly relishes its piece on “Death to the Labour Party

In the 115 years since it was founded as the political wing of the trade union movement at the Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street in February 1900, Labour has rendered the British people a few signal services. It supported Winston Churchill’s premiership during the Second World War, playing a key role in forcing Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940. It created the National Health Service eight years later (though quite what Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan would think about the taxpayer forking out for breast enlargements and sex-change operations doesn’t bear contemplation). It also produced many fine, patriotic Cabinet ministers such as Ernie Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Jim Callaghan, George Robertson and John Reid, and many sound defence ministers such as Roy Mason, John Gilbert, Bill Rodgers and David Owen. But the Labour Party’s time as a useful force in British politics has now passed.

Amazon and Corporation Tax

The Independent reports that “Amazon starts paying corporation tax for UK sales in Britain, not Luxembourg

Online retailer Amazon has started paying UK corporation tax in Britain rather than in Luxembourg, after it came under fire for avoiding tax. Earlier this month, Amazon changed how it pays corporation tax and established a London branch of its main retail company, which was previously based in the tax haven of Luxembourg.

The changes will enable HM Revenue & Customs to claim taxes on sales Amazon makes in the UK. It will now make similar moves in other EU countries. However, the firm has pre-empted scrutiny, and warned that the tax payments are unlikely to be big.

Islam and The Netherlands

The Guardian reports from Holland with “Dutch cabinet approves partial ban on Islamic veil in public areas

The Dutch cabinet has approved a proposal for a partial ban on face-covering Islamic veils on public transport and in public areas such as schools and hospitals. After the cabinet backed a bill by the interior minister, Ronald Plasterk, the government said in a statement on Friday: “Face-covering clothing will in future not be accepted in education and healthcare institutions, government buildings and on public transport.”

The ban would not apply to wearing the burqa or the niqab on the street, only for security reasons or “in specific situations where it is essential for people to be seen”, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, told journalists after a cabinet meeting. He said: “The bill does not have any religious background.” The proposal will be sent to a panel of legal advisers for assessment.

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