Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. In Britain, beer is much more than just a drink (Guardian)

6. Home truths about the housing market (Telegraph)

George Osborne’s help-to-buy scheme in the Budget may excite the hopes of would-be homeowners, but it confirms our alarming dependence on an insufficient stock of homes, writes Alex Morton

7. Middle East needs more than fine words (Financial Times)

John Kerry’s good intentions are worthless if the US president is not ready to take risks, writes Philip Stevens

8. The SWP leadership has turned the party into a sinking ship (Guardian)

The party's leadership has only itself to blame for the mass exodus of members caused by its cover-up of a rape complaint, writes Richard Seymour

9. I’m glad I learnt to read Shakespeare at school rather than a balance sheet (Independent)

Richard Branson has recommended dropping "irrelevant" topics from the curriculum, writes Alice Jones

10. On Syria, the west needs a better choice than do nothing or direct intervention (Guardian)

In the US, debate about arming the Syrian opposition is heating up. But we need to find a different paradigm than military aid, write Carne Ross


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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.