Morning Call:pick of the papers

Ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Israel and Palestine's leaders - and cheerleaders - have failed them again (Guardian)

Jonathan Freedland gives eloquent voice to the despair of those who prefer not treat Middle East conflict as a platform to rehearse old tribal positions. 

2. The press should hug the Leveson report in a grim embrace of welcome (Telegraph)

Newspapers are reacting to the idea of regulation like bolshie shop stewards in the early 80s, writes Charles Moore.

3. Church and state must loosen their bonds (Times)

Matthew Parris sees 'limited and piecemeal' disestablishment as the only plausible way forward for the Church of England.

4. Everyone's a winner in Brussels (Independent)

Leading article sees the bright side of an EU summit failure to get a budget deal.

5. Bright idea that may end up costing more (FT)

'Undercover Economist' Tim Harford unpicks the government's energy tariff reform plans.

6. Why Cameron will regret his 'fruitcakes and loonies' insult (Daily Mail)

Simon Heffer sees Ukip as a sanctuary for authentic Tories chased away from their party by David Cameron.

7. Morsi's mistake (FT)

Leading article urges Egypt's president to reverse power-grabbing, anti-democratic decree.

8. The 'nutrition gap' between Britain's rich and poor is vast - and wicked (Guardian)

The reasons are complex, but it is still a disgrace that healthy eating is the preserve of the well-off, writes Ian Jack

9. The BBC can get out of this hole (Telegraph)

Former Director General Greg Dyke gives his tuppence worth on the problems with BBC governance.

10. End the loneliness of the long-running life (Times)

Other countries are well ahead of the UK in understanding the civilised way to grow old, writes Janice Turner.

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Forget gaining £350m a week, Brexit would cost the UK £300m a week

Figures from the government's own Office for Budget Responsibility reveal the negative economic impact Brexit would have. 

Even now, there are some who persist in claiming that Boris Johnson's use of the £350m a week figure was accurate. The UK's gross, as opposed to net EU contribution, is precisely this large, they say. Yet this ignores that Britain's annual rebate (which reduced its overall 2016 contribution to £252m a week) is not "returned" by Brussels but, rather, never leaves Britain to begin with. 

Then there is the £4.1bn that the government received from the EU in public funding, and the £1.5bn allocated directly to British organisations. Fine, the Leavers say, the latter could be better managed by the UK after Brexit (with more for the NHS and less for agriculture).

But this entire discussion ignores that EU withdrawal is set to leave the UK with less, rather than more, to spend. As Carl Emmerson, the deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, notes in a letter in today's Times: "The bigger picture is that the forecast health of the public finances was downgraded by £15bn per year - or almost £300m per week - as a direct result of the Brexit vote. Not only will we not regain control of £350m weekly as a result of Brexit, we are likely to make a net fiscal loss from it. Those are the numbers and forecasts which the government has adopted. It is perhaps surprising that members of the government are suggesting rather different figures."

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts, to which Emmerson refers, are shown below (the £15bn figure appearing in the 2020/21 column).

Some on the right contend that a blitz of tax cuts and deregulation following Brexit would unleash  higher growth. But aside from the deleterious economic and social consequences that could result, there is, as I noted yesterday, no majority in parliament or in the country for this course. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.