George Osborne, the Chancellor, said that if Britain left the European Union, households would be on average £4,300 a year worse off. He quoted a Treasury analysis that said the British economy would be 6 per cent smaller outside the EU by 2030 than it would have been. ‘Remain’ campaigners were treating voters ‘like children who can be frightened into obedience’, Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary, said, and declared that Britain could be part of the European free trade zone but ‘free from EU regulation which costs us billions of pounds a year’. Kenneth Clarke, the former Chancellor, said that David Cameron ‘wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost the referendum’. Supporters of the ‘leave’ campaign took a different view. ‘He must stay, I want him to stay,’ said Chris Grayling, the leader of the House of Commons; he was the ‘right man to take us out of the European Union,’ said Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary. The National Farmers’ Union favoured remaining. Unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.7 million. Mars said that Dolmio Classic Basil Pesto was among its products that should not be eaten more than once a week, for health reasons, such were its fat, sugar and salt content.
The General Medical Council asked junior doctors planning to strike next week to take ‘reasonable steps to satisfy themselves’ that patients would be safe. The Court of Appeal lifted an injunction banning the media in England and Wales from reporting the identity of a married celebrity who allegedly took part in sexual activity with two other people at once; but the celebrity could still not be legally named pending a possible appeal; since the facts had been reported in Scotland, most people who wanted to know seemed to have found out. Two 14-year-olds were charged with the murder of a mother and daughter at Spalding in Lincolnshire. The website of Ross County, the winners of the Scottish League Cup, was accidentally deleted by a maintenance company.
Emmanuel Macron, the French economy minister, said that France was ‘completely committed’ to constructing the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. A British Airways aeroplane carrying 137 people was struck by a drone as it approached Heathrow but landed safely. Drones were banned from flying over large parts of London and from Windsor during the visit of President Barack Obama. The Queen chose to wander about Windsor on her 90th birthday, so that people could express their good wishes, and then to light a chain of 1,000 beacons.
The Pope joined the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on the Greek island of Lesbos, where 3,000 migrants are being held in a closed camp; ‘We hope,’ he said, ‘that the world will heed these scenes of tragic, and indeed desperate, need and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity.’ Survivors of a ship full of migrants that sank in the Mediterranean said that hundreds had drowned, although this was hard to confirm. Accounts said that 240 had set off from Tobruk in Libya and were transferred to a larger vessel, already full of migrants, which sank at night. Philip Hammond, the British Foreign Secretary, visited Libya, seeking a larger role for Britain there.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany gave approval for prosecuting authorities to consider bringing charges against Jan Böhmermann, a comedian who recited a poem on television calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey a ‘goat fucker’; she said she hoped her government would repeal a law prohibiting insults against foreign heads of state by 2018. In Brazil, the lower house of Congress voted by 367 to 137 to impeach President Dilma Rousseff; the matter now moves to the senate. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton beat their rivals in the New York primaries. A state of emergency was declared in Houston, Texas, after 17.5 inches of rain fell in a day. Mitsubishi admitted falsifying fuel economy data for 600,000 vehicles.
Hundreds died when an earthquake hit Ecuador, with its epicentre near the town of Pedernales. Two earthquakes in two days struck the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu. At least 28 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in a large bomb and gun attack by the Taleban in Kabul. Ethiopia said armed men from the Murle tribe in South Sudan had killed 140 people on the border and kidnapped 40 children. Amber Heard, the wife of Johnny Depp, was excused a formal conviction but bound over for good behaviour after pleading guilty to bringing two Yorkshire terriers, Boo and Pistol, into Australia. CSH
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free