Turkey

Once again, the question of whether Turkey will join the EU raises its head.

The Guardian claims the Prime Minister has accused a minister of lying

David Cameron has in effect accused leave campaigners, including his own defence minister, Penny Mordaunt, of lying about the prospect of Turkey joining the EU.

The prime minister said his Conservative colleague had made “a very misleading claim” when she said Britain would not be able to stop the accession of new countries into the EU.

“She is absolutely wrong. Let me be clear, Britain and every other country in the EU has a veto on another country joining. That is a fact,” said Cameron, in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday.

The Independent has a similar story.

A Conservative minister has been accused of “flat out lying” over the possibility of Turkey joining the EU, as she campaigns for Britain to vote to leave the bloc.

Penny Mordaunt, the armed forces minister, said the UK “does not” have a veto over the decision to allow new states such as Turkey to accede to the EU – despite it being a key part of the Treaty of the European Union.

The minister has endorsed a controversial new Vote Leave campaign poster which shows dirty footprints entering an enlarged British passport with the caption: “Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU”.

As does the BBC.

David Cameron has said claims the UK would not be able to block Turkey joining the EU are “very misleading”, insisting the UK retains a veto.

Earlier defence minister Penny Mordaunt said the migrant crisis would hasten talks over Turkey’s EU bid and the UK was powerless to stop it.

The EU referendum was the “only chance” for the UK to have its say, she said.

But the prime minister said this was wrong and raised question marks about the Leave campaign’s judgement.

It would be “literally decades” before Turkey was ready to join, Mr Cameron said.

With just over four weeks to go to the 23 June referendum, NHS boss Simon Stevens said leaving the EU would be damaging for the health service, while the prime minister has said food prices would rise sharply in the event of a vote to leave.

And the Express claims the move could hit the NHS hard.

A MOVE to let Turkey join the EU will put the NHS under huge strain unless Britain quits the bloc, a minister has warned.

Penny Mordaunt last night said Turkish ascension could cost under-pressure maternity services nearly £400million in 10 years.

The Vote Leave campaigner pointed to high Turkish birth rates – 17.4 per 1,000 people compared to 12.1 in Britain in 2014.

She is also concerned about Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia being allowed to join the trading bloc.

Mordaunt said: “We are currently sending these countries £2billion to speed up the process of them joining the EU.

“I believe that this is dangerous and it will make us less safe.

That’s why the safer option in this referendum is to Vote Leave and take back control.”

Health

In another health story, the Morning Star reported that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had ‘fiddled figures’.

LABOUR demanded an investigation yesterday into claims that NHS funding figures were fiddled to save the skin of Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Final quarter figures on spending by NHS trusts revealed yesterday that the health service is facing the biggest financial crisis in its history.

Trusts declared an unprecedented deficit of £2.45 billion in 2014/15 — a black hole three times bigger than the previous year — though this was lower than a £2.8bn shortfall forecast from earlier in the year.

But the government faced claims it had actively cooked the books to limit the embarrassment.

One NHS trust financial director, speaking to the BBC anonymously, accused the Department of Health of financial “alchemy.”

Chilcot

The Mail forecasts the outcome of the Chilcot report, which has been delayed until after the referendum.

Tony Blair’s reputation will be seriously damaged by the upcoming Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War, according to a senior source who has discussed the report with its authors.

The report – which will finally be published on July 6 – will also deliver an ‘absolute brutal’ verdict on the former Labour prime minister, ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw and the former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove, a former government minister added.

Mr Blair ‘won’t be let off the hook’ over claims he offered British military assistance to US President George Bush before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

But some of the harshest criticism will be reserved for Mr Straw over the aftermath of the war and the top general who oversaw the city of Basra after it was captured, a source told the Sunday Times.

The former minister told the newspaper that British forces ‘did make a mess of the aftermath’ and will describe the 2007 withdrawal from Basra as ’embarrassing’.

‘Serious mistakes’ were made by senior generals running Basra and other southern provinces in the country, the report will say and misjudgments were  so bad that British troops ‘had to be rescued by the Americans’.

The Independent reports along the same lines.

The long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq war is reportedly set to savage Tony Blair and other former government officials in an “absolutely brutal” verdict on the failings of the occupation.

The former Prime Minister “won’t be let off the hook” over claims he offered military assistance to the former American President George W Bush, a year before the invasion of Iraq, a source told the Sunday Times.

The Inquiry, which was set up by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in June 2009 to look into the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, will release its 2.6 million word report just two weeks after the EU referendum. It is expected to “damage the reputations” of a number of high-ranking officials.

 Brexit

The Express predicts the outcome in the EU of the possible Brexit vote.

BRITAIN could “liberate Europe” again by voting to quit the “totalitarian” EU in next month’s referendum, a top Dutch politician has said.

Right-wing populist Geert Wilders said Brexit on June 23 would triggering a “patriotic spring” across the continent.

Wilder, the outspoken leader of the anti-immigration Party for Freedom, is fiercely opposed to the Netherlands’ EU membership.

And he hopes a British exit would have an “enormous effect” on the Eurosceptic movement in his country and beyond.

He said: “Once again Britain could help liberate Europe from another totalitarian monster, this time called ‘Brussels’.

“Like in the 1940s [during the Second World War], we could be saved by the British.

“If people see that a country can leave [the EU] and flourishes, it would have an enormous effect.”

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