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July 27 - August 2 2011
By Robert Winnett Deputy Political Editor DAVID CAMERON and George Osborne are said to be considering taking advantage of the euro crisis to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
Senior Conservatives believe Britain may be able to regain control of some social and employment regulations and secure the rebate’s future as a condition of allowing closer integration among countries using the euro.
The plan would lead to tensions in the Coalition as the Liberal Democrats are likely to block any move for Britain to dilute its relationship with the EU.
Last week, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, was asked whether Britain should seek to capitalise on the crisis. “We want a successful Europe, full stop,” he said. “Anything now which suggests we are somehow trying to distance ourselves from that would in the long run be economically self-defeating.”
Mr Osborne is thought to be pushing to combine negotiations over the bail-out with forthcoming discussions over the EU’s budget for 2014 to 2020.
EU leaders last week agreed a new €159 billion [£140 billion] bail-out for Greece, which will technically be allowed to default on some debts. The eurozone countries also extended the remit of a
THE TORIES’ LIKELY DEMANDS
» The continuation of the multibillion-pound annual rebate, which reduces Britain’s financial backing of the European Union » Renegotiation of British membership of the Social Chapter, which sets out rights for workers. These include the right to strike and to work only a maximum number of hours each week » Ask France and Germany to drop new regulations on City and financial institutions » An opt-out from a range of other European employment regulations which inhibit the ability of British firms to hire and fire employees
‘I’m counterfeiting euros.
If I’m caught I’ll plead insanity’
European rescue fund to allow countries not on the brink of meltdown to borrow from the EU. This is likely to lead to greater integration in the eurozone. Some politicians claim the fund is now in contravention of the European Treaty, which forbids Brussels from being responsible for national finances.
There is speculation that the treaty may have to be revised and ratified by parliaments in every country in the EU, rather than just members of the eurozone. Conservative MPs believe this would give Britain an opportunity to push Europe for concessions in other areas.
Treasury insiders hope Europe will drop plans for regulation of the City in return for British support. The EU is seeking a possible reduction in the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher.
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has called for the Government to take a more active role in the ongoing eurozone negotiations, saying that Britain “has an interest in relation to the growth and stability in the eurozone”.
Meanwhile, Mr Osborne announced last week that the Government was cutting the interest rate charged to Ireland for an emergency bail-out loan, a move expected to cost the exchequer up to £400million.
Greek bail-out: Page 33
‘It’s horrid’ The Queen’s verdict on royal wedding dress display
ITS ghost-like quality has drawn gasps of admiration from fashion writers. But the display featuring the Duchess of Cambridge’s bridal gown was given a rather less enthusiastic reception by a VIP visitor last Friday.
“It’s horrid,” was the Queen’s blunt assessment of Buckingham Palace’s star exhibit as she was given a private tour before it opened to the public last Saturday. “It’s made to look very creepy,” she added.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duchess herself, above, also described the display — featuring the veil suspended over a headless mannequin, right — as “horrible” as she chatted to the newest member of the Royal family.
The Duchess, who had already seen the display earlier in the week, seemed far more approving, saying it had a “3D effect”.
The exhibition, which also includes the Duchess’s wedding slippers, earrings, a replica of her bouquet and the wedding cake, is expected to be seen by half a million visitors. It forms the central part of the annual summer opening of the Palace’s 19 State rooms.
Members of the public can get within 8ft of the dress, which is on a raised platform in the centre of the ballroom, lit from above by a circle of spotlights.
The Queen and the Duchess were shown around the exhibition by its curator, Caroline de Guitaut, who put a brave face on the criticism.
“The beauty really is in the detail,” she said.
Unique style: Lucian Freud self-portrait
By James Orr and Raf Sanchez LUCIAN FREUD, a colossus of the art world for more than half a century, died peacefully at his home aged 88, it was announced last week.
In a statement, William Acquavella, his New York-based art dealer, said the realist painter died last Wednesday following a brief illness, but gave no further details.
Freud was known for his intense realist portraits, particularly of nudes. In recent years his paintings commanded huge prices at auction, including one called Naked Woman on a Sofa that sold for $33.6 million (£20.5 million) in 2008. Last month, a portrait entitled Woman Smiling, 1958-59, sold for £4.7million.
Last week Mr Acquavella said: “My family and I mourn Lucian Freud not only as one of the great painters of the 20th century but also as a very dear friend.
“As the foremost figurative artist of his generation he imbued both portraiture and landscape with profound insight, drama and energy. In company he was exciting, humble, warm and witty.
“He lived to paint and painted until the day he died, far removed from the noise of the art world.”
Freud was well known for bucking the trends of the art world, insisting on using his realist approach even when it was out of favour with critics and collectors. He stubbornly developed his own unique style, eventually winning recognition as one of the world’s greatest painters.
“He certainly is considered one of the most important painters of the 20th and 21st centuries,” said Brett Gorvy, deputy chairman of the postwar art department at Christie’s auction house in New York.
“He stayed with his figurative approach even when it was extremely unpopular, when abstraction was the leading concept, and as time moved on his classic approach has proven to be very important.”
Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, the psychoanalyst, was born in Berlin in 1922. His Jewish family was forced to flee the city in 1933 and he became a British citizen in 1939.
One of Freud’s most famous subjects was the supermodel Kate Moss, whom he painted in the nude while she was pregnant. He named the painting Naked Portrait 2002.
He also painted a portrait of the Queen – completed in his characteristically uncompromising and unflattering style, with some commentators describing the monarch’s expression as “glum”.
Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate in London, said: “His early paintings redefined British art and his later works stand comparison with the great figurative painters of any period.”
An obituary will appear next week
By Roya Nikkhah THE troubled singer Amy Winehouse, once regarded as the brightest young star in music, has died aged 27 of a suspected drug overdose. Paramedics discovered her at her north London home at around 4pm last Saturday, but she was beyond help.
Scotland Yard said the death was being treated as “unexplained”.
Mourners gathered at the scene over the weekend, leaving flowers and candles.
Her death follows years of widely publicised addiction to drugs and alcohol, which saw Winehouse fade from the height of her musical success and become more talkedabout for her physical decline.
Her father, Mitch, a taxi driver who launched a jazz singing career on the back of his daughter’s success, was in
Amy Winehouse performing at the Brit Awards in 2008: she later went into decline
New York when he heard of her death. “I’m devastated,” he said.
The singer’s mother, Janis, said her daughter “seemed out of it” when she last met her last Thursday. She thought that her death would be “only a matter of time”.
Friends of the star paid tribute to her talent. The musician Mark Ronson, who produced the acclaimed Back to Black album, said: “She was my musical soulmate and like a sister to me. This is one of the saddest days of my life.”
Winehouse was an accomplished songwriter with a unique voice who devised some of the most famous and recognisable hits in recent years, including Rehab, a song about her refusal to attend a rehabilitation clinic.
A NURSE was charged last Friday night with criminal damage with intent to endanger life after the deaths of five patients at a Stockport hospital.
Rebecca Leighton, 27, was accused of tampering with saline and other medicines at Stepping Hill hospital.
She was also charged with one count of theft of medicine from the hospital. The charges came after three days of questioning by detectives.
Greater Manchester Police named the fifth patient to die at the hospital as Vera Pearson, 84.