What the other papers say this morning - 20 January 2014


David Cameron faces EU isolation
David Cameron risks “damaging Europe” with his anti-immigration stance, according to some of Britain’s allies, leaving the prime minister looking isolated in his attempts to restrict free movement in the EU. Ministers and officials from several EU powers told the Financial Times they would resist Mr Cameron’s attempts to restrict the ability of citizens from new member states to travel freely across the union.

SFO secures funds to pursue Rolls-Royce
The UK Treasury has given extra funding to the Serious Fraud Office to bolster its criminal investigation into alleged bribery by Rolls-Royce in Indonesia and China. The rare move, only the third such agreement in recent times, underscores both the probe’s scope and the pressure on the cash-strapped SFO to land a sizeable British scalp for overseas corruption. The Treasury has agreed to so-called blockbuster funding “in the low millions” of pounds for the SFO’s probe, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

UK reviews tax on Bitcoin
Britain is reviewing the tax treatment of Bitcoin, a virtual currency that governments fear can be used for tax evasion and money laundering. HM Revenue and Customs has advised traders that it is looking at alternatives to the current 20 per cent value added tax on purchases of the coin, which is regarded as a voucher rather than a currency.


Vodafone puts audit contract on market
Britain’s biggest telecoms company has put its audit contract on the market for the first time in 26 years, as politicians at home and in Brussels ramp up the pressure on companies to break cosy ties with the firms that check their books. The mandate has been held exclusively by Deloitte since the company came to the London stock market in 1988.

Knives out over future of Smithfield
The fate of London’s historic Smithfield Market is looking more precarious after a report by Knight Frank claimed that one proposal could make a “multimillion-pound loss”.

The Daily Telegraph

Morrisons treasurer held over deal
A senior Morrisons employee bought shares in online grocer Ocado before a transformational £216m tie-up between the two retailers was announced, it has been alleged. The Telegraph can reveal that Paul Coyle, Morrisons’ group treasurer and head of tax, was arrested in December after an insider trading investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Royal Mail chair wants chief’s pay hiked
Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon has warned that the delivery company must raise the £1.5m pay package of Moya Greene or risk losing her as chief executive.


NSA phone programme helping FBI
The National Security Agency’s phone surveillance programme generated more than 1,000 tips a year to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to newly declassified documents.

US sending less security to Sochi
US officials have warned of possible terror attacks surrounding the coming Olympics in Russia, yet are sending fewer security experts to Sochi than to any Games over the past decade. About 40 FBI personnel have been sent to Russia. The bureau sent about 50 to the 2012 London Olympics.