Coalition confusion over EU human trafficking directive

After giving the concrete answer of ‘no’ when asked whether the government would be signing the European directive on human trafficking just three months ago, is the coalition on the brink of doing an about turn? Last month, Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone told the Commons that the coalition had “decided not to opt in to the European directive at the moment”; yet last week, Solicitor General Edward Garnier seemed certain that the directive had in fact already been signed.

Freezing of science budget could hit UK’s global reputation

The freezing of the £4.6 billion budget for scientific research could mean a cut of 8.9 per cent in real terms – though it could have been a lot worse, “it’s not as bad as we were expecting” being the common refrain among scientists at a Young Fabians policy network event this week on the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review in on research and development and science.