Most of the papers focus on the election results, and especially the success of Labour’s Sadiq Khan as London Mayor. Nonetheless there is some EU coverage.
Gove: We’ll need urgent security legislation after Brexit
The main headline in the Telegraph reports Gove’s speech in which he calls for immediate emergency legislation after a Brexit vote to secure our borders and to prevent any adverse or punitive decisions by the ECJ, which he (rightly) describes as “a rogue court”. He also argues (again rightly) that our public services will be unable to cope with a further influx of European immigration if we vote to remain.
“Farage & UKIP the true winners of the elections”
This claim appears on the front page of the Express, which like the other papers carries extensive election coverage. The paper also reports Nigel Farage’s comment that UKIP’s strong showing on Thursday augers well for the Brexit referendum.
“EU disintegration not if, but when”
The Express cites a report by a group of financial experts including Colin Ellis of Moody’s which points out the vulnerabilities of the Euro and the EU economies, which represent an existential threat to the European project. The threat is not merely economic, but also political, as anti-EU feeling rises in many member-states. We in Britain have the opportunity to spearhead the drive for a new Europe of independent democratic states, based on free trade and voluntary intergovernmental cooperation, by voting for Brexit on June 23rd.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has explicitly called for Prime Ministers of EU Member-States to be “full-time Europeans”, and to ignore the views of their voters. I have often said that the EU institutions have a towering contempt for public opinion and for ordinary voters. Now we have confirmation straight from the horse’s mouth (though some may feel that a more appropriate metaphor might be “ass” rather than “horse”).
Of course we’ve seen it all before, in Brussels’ repeated rejection of referendum results. But this is a frank admission of what we in the Brexit camp argue – that the EU undermines our democracy. It is not so much that the EU is undemocratic, as that it is anti-democratic.
Corbyn postpones call for the UK to open its borders to Turkey
After pressure from colleagues, Jeremy Corbyn has postponed a proposed visit to Istanbul, where he was planning to call for early EU accession for Turkey, allowing its 79 million people free access to the UK. Corbyn seems to have no sense of how his pronouncements may affect public opinion. Immigration is not a big issue in Islington, so the Labour Leader simply can’t get his head round the idea that it might matter elsewhere – not least in Labour heartlands.
The decision to delay the visit, and the call for Turkish accession, until after the Referendum on June 23rd demonstrates the cynicism of the Remain Camp. Skeletons remain locked in cupboards until after the vote. Remember that EU Commission Vice President Sefcovic has promised “a tsunami of new legislation” – but not until after June.
Meantime David Cameron has been criticised for his two-faced attitude on Turkey. He and his government have firmly supported Turkish accession. In a speech in Istanbul he said he was the strongest supporter of Turkish aspirations. Yet just days ago in London he said that Turkish accession would not happen “for decades”, and that voters should ignore it in the referendum.
Turkey steps up anti-EU rhetoric
I reported yesterday that the replacement of Turkey’s Prime Minister could threaten the fragile EU/Turkey migrant deal. Now Turkish President Erdogan has raised the stakes, insisting that he will not dilute Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws to appease Brussels. This could become a major headache for Merkel and Juncker.
“Britons involved in migrant traffic”
Following the incident in Belgium where police fired on a British-registered vehicle which then crashed on a motorway, the Telegraph reports that a French Prosecutor says British nationals and British registered cars regularly feature in people trafficking activities. Dunkirk’s Prosecutor says she is now pursuing fifteen trafficking cases involving UK-registered vehicles.
Of course the use of a British-registered vehicle (possibly stolen) does not in itself prove the involvement of British nationals. But the UK authorities should take note and investigate the French claims.
The paper also reports that border fences erected in Hungary and elsewhere to keep out migrants are not solving the problem. The migrants are breaking through or circumventing the fences.
The Pope calls for open borders
In a speech in the Vatican yesterday, the Pope called on Europe to reassert its humanity by welcoming all those migrants who wish to come. It is easy to sit in the Vatican and tell others to be generous, but the Pope gave no hint that he understood the social, economic and political implications of his proposal. He should perhaps also reflect that the arrival of millions of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East may not be very positive for the future of the Roman Catholic Church.