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Cameron to chair EU vote committee

David Cameron will personally chair a Cabinet committee in charge of the referendum on membership of the European Union as well as a new cross-government task force aimed at meeting his goal of cutting net migration to the "tens of thousands".

The Prime Minister also chairs the National Security Council and its sub-committees, a task force on tackling extremism and a group on matters related to the armed forces covenant.

The immigration and extremism groups are among 10 cross-government "implementation task forces" set up in a bid to push through key policies.

The move has echoes of Tony Blair's "delivery unit" - which was scrapped when the coalition came to power in 2010 amid criticism that it imposed too much central control on departments.

The full list of task forces is:

:: Housing

:: Health and social care

:: Earn or learn

:: Immigration

:: Childcare

:: Tackling extremism in communities

:: Troubled families

:: Exports

:: Digital infrastructure and inclusion

:: Syrian returners

The immigration task force's terms of reference include the Prime Minister's pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, a target he failed to reach in the last parliament.

Its remit also includes controlling migration from the European Union, a key element of the renegotiation the Prime Minister hopes will happen before the in/out referendum on membership of the EU promised by the end of 2017.

The immigration task force membership includes Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne, Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Communities Secretary Greg Clark, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin, Europe Minister David Lidington and Immigration Minister James Brokenshire.

The group's terms of reference are: "Delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands; controlling migration from the European Union, including through reforming welfare rules and reducing reliance on migrant labour; ensuring that there is a hostile environment for illegal immigrants at work, in housing, and in accessing services; clamping down on the exploitative employers and landlords who make it possible for migrants to undercut local workers; enhancing UK border security, and ensuring that visitors and immigrants who come to the UK contribute to growth."

Mr Cameron's Cabinet committee on Europe is aimed specifically at considering issues related to the EU referendum, with a membership including senior ministers Mr Osborne, Mr Hammond and Mrs May.

A separate committee chaired by Mr Hammond will consider other issues related to the EU.


From Belfast Telegraph