Immigration is the big story today
The Daily Telegraph interviews Culture Secretary (and Brexiteer) John Whittingdale, who calls on the government “to reveal the true numbers of immigrants”, arguing that “social services are creaking at the seams”.
The Mail headlines “Surrender on illegal immigrants”, quoting Home Office Minister Richard Harrington saying “the UK is powerless to boot out illegal immigrants” because “they have nowhere else to go”. The Express headlines “Asylum claims hit new high”, reporting that EU asylum claims have doubled year-on-year.
Meantime the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Mounts Bay is being sent to the Aegean to join several NATO ships already operating there. It will be tasked with surveillance & reconnaissance. But not, apparently, with the only tasks that might be useful: turning back the migrant boats and apprehending the traffickers.
Pension reform falls victim to the EU project
Several papers report that George Osborne has abandoned radical plans for pension reform, which were to have been announced in the up-coming Budget. The FT gives the reason: he was fearful of upsetting voters ahead of the Referendum. They might have sought to punish the government by voting for Brexit. Nice try, George, but I suspect they may vote for Brexit anyway.
What would Churchill have said?
On March 2nd I reported on Sir Nicholas Soames’ attempt to suggest that his grandfather Sir Winston Churchill would have opposed Brexit.
I suspect that Sir Winston would have been urging the orderly continuation of “our island story”, and would have warned against entanglement in a dysfunctional and declining European project beset by existential threats from immigration, from Schengen, from terrorism, from the €uro débâcle, from demographics, from its energy crisis and competitiveness crisis.
Yesterday I reported on the brave speech of John Langdale, head of the British Chambers of Commerce, saying that Britain would thrive outside the EU. Today, Classic FM reports the establishment backlash. Mr. Langdale, they say, has been “temporarily suspended” for breaching the BCC’s policy of neutrality on the EU Referendum. Well done Mr. Langdale, for your brave & principled stand.