Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. The Welfare State, 1942-2013, obituary (Guardian)

After decades of public illness, Beveridge's most famous offspring has died, writes Aditya Chakrabortty.

2. Forward, say Cameron and Clegg. But to where? (Independent)

Their confidence belies the fact they are the most trapped governing leaders since those that tried to rule in the late 1970s, says Steve Richards.

3. The myth of the imperial presidency (Financial Times)

Obama’s critics forget that he is stymied by his foes in Congress, writes Gideon Rachman.

4. Labour must challenge the Ronseal coalition (Times) (£)

The austerity government’s pledge to do what it says on the tin beyond 2015 shifts the centre of political gravity, writes Rachel Sylvester.

5. We need a dose of Thatcher-style privatisation (Daily Telegraph)

Wasteful public services need to be sold off, but today’s Tories don’t have the will to do it, says Philip Johnston.

6. Britain’s two gambles in welfare reform (Financial Times)

Prospects for the planned reshaping of benefits do not look rosy, says Janan Ganesh.

7. UKIP are not as odd as the Odd Couple (Sun)

The wisest thing Cameron can do right now is to avoid driving even more of his own supporters into Farage’s camp, says Trevor Kavanagh.

8. This renewal of coalition vows does nothing for families (Daily Telegraph)

Other than attempting to refresh their own vows, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have done little for married couples, says a Telegraph editorial.

9. Only bold Tory ideas will win the election (Daily Mail)

At yesterday's Mid-Term review there was a gaping void where policies on migration, Europe and law and order should have been, says a Daily Mail leader.

10. Yes, lead poisoning could really be a cause of violent crime (Guardian)

It seems crazy, but the evidence about lead is stacking up, writes George Monbiot. Behind crimes that have destroyed so many lives, is there a much greater crime?

Show Hide image

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.