Five of the Best

The top five comment pieces from today's papers-on why the Tories could lose the next election, scho

In the Financial Times Niall Ferguson and Glen O'Hara explain why the odds are against a Conservative majority at the next election.

David Aaronovitch argues in the Times that the end of central control over schools could harm less able children.

On the eve of Sweden's EU presidency, Ruben Andersson writes in the Guardian that the country's "failing" social state no longer provides a model for the left.

Mary Dejevsky
argues in the Independent that Britain fails to protect the foreign national that staff its embassies.

The days of "old-style Cold War museum armies" must come to an end argue Paddy Ashdown and George Robertson in the Times.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.