Newspaper headlines: EU border row, Budget 'tax rises' and Storm Imogen

Papers record the anger of those campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union at the suggestion that the migrant camps of Calais could move to England in the event of a "Brexit".

Critics have dubbed David Cameron a "scaremonger" for making the claims, a label that's reproduced in the Daily Mail's front-page headline.

The Sun is among the other papers left unimpressed. "These easily debunked tales betray the Remain camp's panic as the failure of the PM's renegotiation beds in... Voters would prefer honest failure to cynical whoppers."

Likewise, the Daily Express is angered by pro-EU "scare tactics". "Voting to leave is not the risky choice, it is the sensible one," it argues.

However, the Independent's John Lichfield backs the PM's case. He writes that, since the signing of the 2003 Le Touquet Treaty, France has "in effect, been defending Britain's borders" by allowing UK immigration officials to operate in Calais.

"Any migrant who is refused entry to 'Britain' is still legally in France - and must remain there," he says. "If the treaty was to be abandoned, asylum seekers with valid passports would, in theory, be free to cross the Channel. They could not easily be sent back to France - or anywhere else."

Lichfield quotes a "senior source" in Paris saying that the treaty was signed by two EU states and therefore "might be called into question legally" were the UK to give up that status. "It would be unlikely to survive in its present form," the source adds.

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That claim is supported by one of the men who signed the treaty - former British Home Secretary David Blunkett - in the Times. It quotes him saying: "There would be much greater reason as to why France would want to continue with something for a European neighbour than they would for a country that had just decided to put two fingers up."

However, the Telegraph quotes sources in Paris saying France would not abandon the current arrangements. And its editorial column suggests Mr Cameron overlooked an important fact.

"Some French leaders - including the current government - consider the present arrangements to be in French interests, too, believing that opening the port and tunnel to migrants would only attract yet more uninvited arrivals to France," it argues.

The paper adds: "After leaving, the UK would be free to implement new immigration policies, new welfare policies and new foreign policies. All of those could be used to deter unwanted migrants."

Either way, argues Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times, the referendum is happening "too early to be meaningful". He writes : "We do not know whether the EU in a decade will have a single market in services or just keep talking a good game about it.

"We do not know whether non-EU countries will account for so much of our export revenue as to make the European market (and the rules that govern it) less central to our livelihoods."

Eye-catching headlines

  • "Jimi's life: sex, drugs... and Ena Sharples" - in the Times, Jimi Hendrix's former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham recalls his taste for Coronation Street during two years at a London flat that opened to the public on Monday
  • "Brits like flour not flowers" - More people plan to celebrate Pancake Day than Valentine's Day, according to a study quoted in the Star
  • "The $200,000 Oscars gift bag - complete with breast lift" - the Guardian has a sneak peak at the giveaways enjoyed by A-listers at the academy awards, and finds an offer of a procedure to use the patient's blood to achieve "rounder cleavage without implants"
  • "Send in the last of the clowns" - the UK's only clown organisation has just 117 members, compared with as many as 400 a few years ago, reports the Mirror

Politics without trousers

The Denver Broncos might have won American Football's Super Bowl but it's singer Beyonce who's making all the headlines after her appearance in the half-time show. According to the Sun, she "hijacked" the event and "strutted straight into a Black Power race row".

As the Express puts it, she "ditched pop for politics" by referencing the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-police protests when performing her new track.

"On the pitch, her backing dancers wore black berets reminiscent of the Sixties revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organisation The Black Panthers," it says.

The Guardian explains that the group was "one of the most influential civil rights groups of the 1960s, but some members' connections to illegal activities led then FBI director J Edgar Hoover to call it 'the greatest threat to the internal security of the country'".

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As Harriet Walker notes in the Times: "You might not have thought it possible to tackle issues such as endemic racism and police brutality with no trousers on, but Beyonce has form. She has answered a lot of questions about modern feminism without them too."

While the Express says the reaction was largely positive, not everyone was happy. It quotes one comment left on the singer's Facebook page, which read: "Hope you enjoyed the police escort on the way in and out of the stadium, as well as the police support that was given to continuously sweep and protect the venue from a large scale terrorist attack while you were performing."

And spare a thought for Chris Martin. His band, Coldplay, were headlining the half-time show but, as James Cabooter puts it in the Star: "Americans only stopped downing pretzels when Beyonce hit the stage. Then Bruno Mars had everyone covered in beer dancing to Uptown Funk. It didn't feel like Coldplay's moment."

For the Independent's Grace Dent: "Beside Beyonce channelling Malcolm X, and Bruno harnessing the power of 1980s Jacko, here was Martin bobbing about behind them in a wholesome manner looking like he smelled of fabric conditioner and had just come from a pilates class."

But she also defends Martin, arguing: "We should not mock or deride the man. He's a good egg. He wrote all his songs and he plays them live too."

Storm force

Photographs of Storm Imogen appear on many front pages and its adverse effects make the lead story for the Daily Star. It describes Monday as "the day Hell came to town", noting that a motorist was killed, a man was missing feared dead and two children were seriously hurt when a wall collapsed.

Next to a picture spread including photographs of a crushed car, a flooded rail line and a hairy dog being blown about by gales, the Daily Express lists chaos including the roof of a bank being blown off in Yatton, Somerset, a wind turbine spinning so fast it burst into flames in south Wales, and 60ft waves battering the south-west coast.

"My Porsche tried to kill me," is the Daily Mirror's headline as it quotes former Top Gear host James May describing how his sports car almost spun off the road when it aquaplaned.

Meanwhile, another report in the paper suggests it's no good seeking sanctuary from the high winds in foreign climes. It quotes a Briton cruising off the east coast of the US describing how the ship's captain told passengers it was his worst ever day at sea, when the vessel was hit by gusts of more than 150mph.

What the commentators say

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBroadcasters Petrie Hosken and David Davies join the BBC News Channel to review Tuesday's papers.

'Taken for fuels'

The Institute for Fiscal Studies' (IFS) warning that tax rises might be needed, following its analysis of the public finances, gets plenty of coverage.

The chancellor has few options, according to the Times. It points to the independent think tank's suggestion that George Osborne could be forced to raise fuel duty if his budget forecasts are "knocked off course" by disappointing figures on economic growth, share prices or wages.

Freezing fuel duty has been a central plank of Conservative policy, says the paper. But it adds: "Treasury advisers believe that an inflation-linked change would allow them to raise fuel duty and still argue that they had 'frozen' it in real terms."

The Sun isn't convinced by the suggestion. "Taken for fuels," is its headline, as it says motorists "should brace themselves for a £3bn-a-year raid by 2020".

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According to the Telegraph, it's child benefit that the public ought to be worried about. The payment is to be the subject of "stealth raids", says the paper. It quotes the IFS as saying more than 1.5 million households face losing some or all of the cash because the pay of one of the parents will rise above £50,000.

The Guardian says Chancellor George Osborne has a £10bn margin of error in his forecasts but that "the Conservative manifesto saddles him with £8bn of unfunded income tax cuts, and recent stock market jitters, which continued yesterday, will wipe out the other £2bn."

However, it points to previous broken promises and reckons the chancellor won't be too worried, saying: "Mr Osborne is a consummate politician who learned long ago that it is fine to make heavy promises lightly. Just as long as there's a plan for wriggling out of them, while keeping up the serious face."

His friend and prime minister could present one of the biggest obstacles to Mr Osborne's efforts to balance the books, according to the FT's Gonzalo Vina. "From prison reform to increasing opportunity for disadvantaged pupils, the prime minister's wish to return to the politics he espoused before the financial crisis brings risks for George Osborne's plans to reduce the deficit," he writes.

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