Paul’s Sunday Selection from today’s papers

sundaypapsHere are a few articles that have caught my eye from the Sunday papers:

The Sunday Times (£) leads with “Cameron declares war on rebels”, starting:

DAVID CAMERON ignited a fresh Tory civil war over immigration last night, warning that those who wanted to leave the European Union were misleading the public by claiming that they could seal Britain’s borders.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the prime minister said those who wanted to leave would be forced to accept the free movement of people if they wanted a free trade deal with the rest of the EU.

He challenged Eurosceptics to explain to the public what Britain’s relationship would be like with Europe if the UK voted to leave, accusing them of making “no effort” to spell out their plans.

Warning that Britain would still have to contribute to EU coffers even if it left, Cameron said: “So far, the EU has never given full access to the Single Market without insisting on a contribution to the budget and free movement.”

The front page is emblazoned with a big picture of the “Secessionist Six (five and a half)” – the five and half cabinet ministers who are campaigning for a “No” vote in the EU referendum. The six make an interesting half dozen when lined up for the cameras.

The Scotsman leads with “Don’t put UK at risk in June referendum – David Cameron”. I have to admit that I was distracted from this article by the advert at the top of it, featuring Kevin Bacon, the two blokes off of Gogglebox and a pair of pink shorts. I fear Referendum Tedium is setting in early. …But I did notice this:

Last night Nicola Sturgeon warned against “scaremongering and fear” tactics which were employed during the Scottish independence campaign as she said that she would add her voice to the “in” campaign.

The Independent on Sunday leads with “‘Our safety’ frames the EU vote battle”. It says that Cameron plays on fears saying “Leaving is a threat to economic and national security”, while Gove retorts with “EU now a source of insecurity; razor wire criss-crosses the continent”. We’re in for an extraordinary four months if this is how the Prime Minister and his Justice Secretary communicate in public.

The Telegraph underlines this Tory battle with “A Cabinet divided”. It’s worth reminding ourselves that, out of a cabinet of twenty-two full members, five have, so far, joined the “leave” campaign.

The Telegraph gives us a little glimpse into future offerings from the PM, saying he will emphasise the “British Bill of Rights” as a way to assert the UK’s sovereignity. That promise of another Cameron attempted “sleight of hand” reminds me of dear Paul Daniels, whose tragic plight is covered in several of the tabloids – my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

The Mail says that Gove and Boris are plotting in secret about the EU “leave” campaign. As usual, their article comes with photos for those who Kenny Everett referred to as “the hard of thinking”.

The Observer centres its front page on a picture of David Cameron announcing the referendum in Downing Street with the quote:

‘The choice is in your hands. I believe we’ll be safer and stronger in the EU’

I see that the Observer/Guardian reports online that Boris is “genuinely torn” about whether to campaign for “in” or “out”. Whatever calculations are going through his head at the moment, one can be sure that, top of the list, are the chances of having a statue erected somewhere, sometime in the future, of one Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. (That is not an idle quip – when asked once whether he would concentrate on his journalistic career or his political one, he replied (from my memory): ‘They don’t tend to erect statues to newspaper editors’.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I rather like the idea of Boris covered in pigeon excrement!

  • Richard Underhill 21st Feb '16 - 10:57am

    The SNP leader was interviewed on the Andrew Marr programme on BBC1. She discouraged any idea of a joint platform with David Cameron because it would be unlikely to gain votes in the referendum. She did say that some passionate NO voters in the Scottish referendum would want independence for Scotland if the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU.
    That gives the UK Independence Party a problem, in wanting to leave the EU they are also risking breaking up the UK. The border with the Republic of Ireland is open and should remain so. A border with Scotland would also be detrimental, we are better together.

  • @richardunderhill

    I doubt whether UKIP worry much about breaking up the Union. They’re essentially an English party with some key anti Scotland policies.

  • Andy Allan

    Make that an English and Welsh party. The polls show UKIP – and the “out” campaign” -doing well in Wales.

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