Minister’s memoirs

A new book by former minister David Laws lays bare the internal squabbles in the Conservative party.

The Telegraph claims that David Cameron is ‘petrified’ of Boris Johnson.

David Cameron is “petrified” of Boris Johnson and branded Michael Gove a “Maoist” who wants to be the darling of the Tory right, according to an insider’s account of the Coalition years.

The Prime Minister is said to have confided in Nick Clegg that the Justice Secretary had “gone a bit nuts recently” and was driving him “around the bend”.

Mr Cameron also admitted to the former deputy prime minister that the London mayor “is clearly after my job”, the memoirs of former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister David Laws claim.

Extracts published in the Mail on Sunday also state the premier agreed to a referendum to keep his “mad” backbenchers happy.

The Mail claims the Prime Minister doesn’t know how to handle Brussels.

The simmering tensions between David Cameron and Tory EU rebels Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are laid bare today.

The Prime Minister is ‘petrified’ of the London Mayor – and thinks that Justice Secretary Mr Gove is a Maoist who’s gone ‘a bit nuts’.

He called the EU referendum as a ‘party management issue’ to keep ‘mad’ Right-wing Tory MPs at bay – and had little idea how he would get a better deal from Brussels.

Scottish independence

Several papers outline the Scottish First Minister’s new drive for Scottish independence.

The Telegraph reports that Nicola Sturgeon will launch a fresh campaign for separation from the UK in the summer, as Tories plot revenge against SNP over Sunday trading defeat

Nicola Sturgeon will launch a major new drive to build support for Scottish independence within months.

The Scottish National Party had promised to respect the result of the 2014 independence referendum, at which voters chose to remain part of the 300 year-old Union.

But Scotland’s First Minister on Saturday declared a new drive to convince Scots to support the “beautiful dream” of independence will begin in the summer.

She made the dramatic announcement at the SNP’s spring conference in Glasgow as she sought to build political momentum ahead of elections for the Holyrood Parliament in May.

The Independent reports Miss Sturgeon’s speech at the party’s spring conference.

A fresh drive for Scottish independence will be launched by the SNP this summer as the party seeks to capitalise on its popularity and win over a significant portion of those who voted No in 2014, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

In a speech to her party’s spring conference in Glasgow, the First Minister dramatically reopened the issue of Scotland’s future in the United Kingdom by promising to “embark on a new initiative to build support for independence” after the EU referendum in June.

The grassroots campaign will be aimed primarily at so-called “soft No voters” who were willing to be persuaded of the benefits of independence at the 2014 referendum but remained unconvinced by polling day, SNP sources told The Independent on Sunday. It is likely to feature a national tour by Ms Sturgeon, who remains extremely popular in Scotland.

The Guardian reports she had a ‘rapturous reception’.

Nicola Sturgeon will spearhead a renewed drive to build support for Scottish independence this summer, pledging to turn the 45% who voted to leave the UK in the 2014 referendum into “a strong and positive majority”.

To a rapturous reception from about 3,000 delegates at the Scottish National party’s spring conference in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, the party leader and first minister cautioned supporters: “We will not achieve our dream of independence just by wishing that the outcome of the referendum had been different – or wishing that we could do it all again next week.”

With just seven weeks to go before May’s Scottish parliament elections, she said: “We will achieve independence only when we persuade a majority of our fellow citizens that it is the best future for our country.”

Sturgeon’s focus on the independence debate is a mark of supreme confidence in her party which is enjoying unprecedented levels of support across Scotland, leaving Labour trailing in the polls.

And Sky News also covers the story.

Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to launch a fresh bid for Scottish independence this summer, whatever the outcome of the EU referendum in June.

The Scottish First Minister is also promising a rethink on some of the arguments the Yes campaign made last time, in a bid to turn the 45% who voted Yes into a majority for independence.

Her pledge came as she addressed the SNP’s spring conference in Glasgow with a new poll suggesting the party is on course to win an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament again.

After election pledges in her speech on health, education, tax and even a promise of broadband for all Scots, her independence vow electrified her audience of 3,500 SNP delegates.

She said one of her heroes was Eleanor Roosevelt, who once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Ms Sturgeon told the delegates independence was “a beautiful dream” and this summer the SNP would “embark on a new initiative to build support for independence”.

As does ITV.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that her Scottish National Party will begin a new campaign within months to build support for independence from the United Kingdom.

Ms Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, announced plans for the initiative to raucous applause as she addressed the SNP’s spring conference.

“This summer the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support for independence,” she said, to a standing ovation.

Scotland voted against independence at a national referendum in 2014 which saw 55% vote to remain against 45% in favour of splitting.

Turkey

In the Sun, columnist Tony Parsons claims that the prospect of Turkey joining the EU is reason enough for us to get out.

WHEN Turkey joins the European Union, the EU will share a common external border with Syria, Iraq and Iran.

And that should scare the life out of us. That should make us worried sick about our national security — and the security of generations of Brits yet to be born.

Turkey’s long, porous border with these hellholes should be the best reason in the world for the UK to bail out of the EU on June 23.

But wait a minute — shouldn’t that be a big fat “IF” Turkey joins the European Union?

How likely is it that a nation of almost 80million Muslims will be welcomed into the EU?

It becomes more likely with every passing day.

And a new poll in the Express shows that a third of Brits would back Brexit if Turkey joins the EU.

TURKEY’S bid to join the EU was last night described as a “game changer” after a poll showed it would make a third of Britons more likely to back leaving Europe.

Talks are due to take place on Friday over the “accelerated accession” of Turkey as part of a deal aimed at stemming the tide of refugees heading to European Union countries.

It comes as the Home Office admitted it had not carried out a full impact assessment of what Turkish membership would mean to the UK, including the population change, despite admitting in 2011 that it was “crucial” to do so.

But according to a Survation poll of more than 2,000 people, more than one in three surveyed said they would be more likely to vote to leave the EU if Turkey became a member.

Even among those who said they intended to vote for Britain to remain part of the EU, more than a quarter (25.6 per cent) said Turkey’s accession would make them more likely to vote to leave.

Immigration

Breitbart reports an official investigation into the huge gap between ‘official’ immigration figures and National Insurance registrations.

Britain’s statistics authority, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is set to investigate the discrepancy between National Insurance (social security) registrations and the official immigration figures, the latter which are based on a questionable estimate methodology.

Breitbart London first raised the issue in August 2015, prompting respected academics to chime in on the issue later in the year.

At the time, we revealed that while the International Passenger Survey estimated a rise 53,000 Romanians and Bulgarians in Britain, there were actually 214,000 National Insurance (NINo) registrations, creating confusion over the real number of migrants from the countries in question.

Now, the discrepancy reported in other migrant groups is set to be reviewed by the ONS with a view to revealing the true scale of migration into the United Kingdom ahead of the country’s European Union (EU) membership referendum on June 23rd.

The Telegraph reports that the ONS review “will be published alongside official net migration figures, which are expected to show that [t]he number of migrants coming to Britain is at near record levels”, adding comment from Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, who said: “The fact that the Office for National Statistics is going to look at these different sources and reconcile them is entirely welcome.

“This is an important issue, we know the current numbers are far from perfect and the Government has data which is highly relevant. They are doing their best to hide it from us.”

Brexit

Breitbart quotes the Prime Minister’s comments that British farmers will be £300m worse off outside the EU – but he has ignored the £3Billion in subsidies to European farmers.

The Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that leaving the European Union (EU) would cost the British farming industry £330 million. Yet Britain currently pays ten times that figure to subsidise its European farming competitors, meaning the government could easily cover the cost.

Mr Cameron’s latest bid to scare the British people into voting to remain within the European Union was delivered today at a farm in Wales, where he warned: “British agriculture, British farmers and British jobs could suffer enormously if we were to leave the single market.”

According to Mr Cameron, some 90 per cent of British lamb and beef exports, worth around £605 million, are currently exported to the EU, the Guardian has reported. He insists that that trade could be jeopardised by a vote to leave.

“If we left this single market and, as some suggest, relied on World Trade Organisation rules, the extra costs of exporting British beef would be £240m a year. An extra £90m would be added to the cost of British lamb exports,” he said.

“British farmers and food producers rely on the single market. It gives them access to 500 million consumers, to whom they can sell their goods on an open, unrestricted basis. No tariffs, no barriers, no bogus health and safety rules designed to keep our products out.”

Economists have already dismissed the idea that quitting our membership of the EU would necessarily result in trade barriers being raised by other member states.

Bloomberg Business today reported that Britain’s goods trade deficit with the rest of the EU is at an all-time high, with the Office of National Statistics showing an 8.1 billion pound deficit in January, and 23 billion pounds over the past three months. Both figures are the highest since the data began in 1998.

The Mail reports what happened to Greenland after it left the EU.

The problem was simple but infuriating: ‘I had to travel to Brussels every month and ask permission if we could fish in our own waters. They were no longer our own. It was irritating to be told we were part of the European family and must share everything with our friends.’

So what did Lars-Emil Johansen, the president of Greenland’s parliament and a former prime minister, do about it? Simple: he led a campaign for his country of 56,000 people to go it alone – and in 1982 his dream became reality. They voted in a referendum to leave the union.

This was a shock for Brussels – and not just because Greenland is so vast that the then European Economic Community lost more than half its territory overnight. It was hugely symbolic: it remains the only time any state has defied the drift towards ever closer union across the continent by demanding to depart.

So, as Britain weighs up whether to follow suit, I asked the centre-Left politician if he has any regrets? ‘No,’ he says emphatically. ‘I was very happy when it happened. It was a very good decision.’

HS2

The Telegraph reports secret research which shows the high-speed rail project is in jeopardy.

Trains on Britain’s HS2 rail scheme are at risk of derailment and catastrophic track failure, according to previously secret research commissioned by HS2 itself.

Engineering changes will be needed to make the project safe, the study says. The alterations will raise costs, increase journey times, or both, and will “collapse” the scheme’s already shaky business case, according to opponents.

Ministers claim that HS2, running between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, will revolutionise rail travel and shrink the North-South divide.

But the findings today revealed by the Telegraph will reignite debate over whether the project, already costed at £50 billion, is a good use of public money.

In the research, completed last year, Prof Peter Woodward, one of the world’s leading experts in the geo-engineering of railways, found that the speeds proposed by HS2 – faster than any other high-speed line in the world – would create “critical track velocity effects” and “significant issues” with track instability.

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