Newspaper headlines: 'New Britain' and Brexit 'earthquake'

Britain's decision to leave the EU and David Cameron's resignation are met with triumphant headlines in some papers and grim warnings in others.

The events are described as "tumultuous" and "stunning".

In a Telegraph cartoon which sums up the mood, a newsreader says: "Good evening. Aliens didn't land on Earth and Elvis wasn't found alive, but everything else happened."

The Daily Express says the EU vote "changed our country forever".

It says the British people chose "democracy and independence over submission and fear" in a "heroic moment of defiance to rank alongside glorious episodes of our past".

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The "forgotten people" of Britain rose to regain control of their destiny, according to the Daily Mail.

It says voters were bombarded with "hysterical threats" by the Remain campaign but they "held their nerve, saw through the lies and trusted their instincts".

"This country has always been a global player and free of the institutional shackles of the EU it can - and will - flourish," says the Telegraph.

It says there must now be "clear heads and cool calculations" to ensure stability after the historic vote.

But the Guardian's Gary Younge says: "We are not independent. We are simply isolated."

The Leave campaign waded to victory through a "toxic swamp of postcolonial nostalgia, xenophobia and general disaffection", he says.

"Like the dog that chases the car only to amaze itself by catching it, those who campaigned for Brexit own what comes next."

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The Financial Times says Britain has "casually wandered into a new world of risk" in a move which "shattered relations" with its nearest allies.

It says the vote must be respected, but it warns Leave leaders must show "a far greater sense of responsibility and honesty" than they did in the campaign" - or Britain is in "acute danger of losing control".

"The best hope, which this newspaper fervently shares, is that the UK remains engaged, open and, in the best spirit, pro-European," it says.

The Sun urges people to "calm down".

"The world hasn't ended. Britain has changed a little, that's all. It will prove a great decision for our country," it says.

'Fatal inability'

The i says Mr Cameron looked "invincible" this time last year, but the clock was "already ticking on the issue that was to destroy his premiership".

It highlights Mr Cameron's "partly successful" work to cut the budget deficit and the fact he made gay marriage legal.

But it says he will "forever be remembered for his fatal inability to win over the electors to his European vision in a referendum he never really wanted to hold".

Writing in the Telegraph, former Tory leader William Hague says the UK has lost a "remarkable and successful prime minister".

"Resented by some for his success, as well as for his changes to his party and his ability to make his work seem effortless, he will now be extremely difficult to replace," Mr Hague writes.

And the paper itself praises the "dignified manner" of Mr Cameron's resignation.

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The Mail's Max Hastings takes a very different view, saying Mr Cameron has been "humbled by his arrogance".

The PM treated government as a "tactical game" and he "now pays the price for years of unfulfilled pledges and for running a rotten Remain campaign", he writes.

In the Mirror, historian Dan Snow says Mr Cameron lost a "terrible gamble" on the referendum.

He says the UK could go from being a "major player to a little runt state", and argues that the great leaders of the past would be "stunned at what we have done".

In the Express, Macer Hall says Mr Cameron has joined the ranks of Tory leaders "brought down by the poisonous issue of Europe".

And he says the next PM may find the job is "not as easy as Mr Cameron made it look".

'Final mission'

The identity of that future leader is discussed in most papers, with Boris Johnson named as the bookies' favourite.

The i says Mr Johnson "gambled his career on backing Brexit", and after winning he delivered a "diplomatic pitch for leadership" without actually mentioning the job of prime minister.

Writing in the Mail, Mr Johnson's biographer Andrew Gimson says the former London mayor will not be welcomed by "establishment-minded people", who see him as a "buffoon on a par with Donald Trump".

But Mr Johnson will try to show "he alone possesses the boldness and resilience required to extricate us from the EU", he says.

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The Mirror describes the possibility of Mr Johnson in No 10 as "Nightmare on Downing Street".

It says he faces a potential "showdown" with Home Secretary Theresa May, while Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and pro-Brexit Justice Secretary Michael Gove are also possible contenders.

The Times says Mr Cameron's "final mission" is to stop Mr Johnson getting the keys to No 10.

It says Mrs May has emerged as the favoured "stop Boris" candidate, and few in Downing Street are in any doubt that Mr Cameron wants his successor to be "anyone but Mr Johnson".


What the commentators say

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Media captionToby Young of the Spectator, political commentator Jo Phillips and Herald columnist David Torrance join the BBC News Channel to review Saturday's front pages.

On the subject of the UK's economic future, Institute for Fiscal Studies Director Paul Johnson says the country is sailing into "uncharted" waters without a compass.

Writing in the Times, he says the EU is unlikely to allow access to the single market "on a basis that would be acceptable to an electorate that voted to leave".

"Anything close to current access will most likely require us to accept free movement of labour, some EU regulations and financial contributions to the EU," he says.

The i says there will be a deal with the EU because there "has to be a deal".

It predicts "some kind of associate status" for Britain and says that, whatever happens, the country will remain "closely integrated with Europe".

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'Brexit bounceback'

The vote sent global markets into "freefall", the Financial Times reports.

It says many traders were complacent after opinion polls suggested the UK would vote Remain, and people "scrambled to limit losses" as the result emerged.

At 4am on Friday, the pound fell to a 31-year-low, the Guardian reports.

It says many in the City had been "spectacularly wrong" about the outcome, and at one point clients were calling traders in a state of "near panic".

But Bank of England Governor Mark Carney "soothed nerves with warm words" and Sterling steadied, it adds.

The FTSE 100 saw a "spectacular Brexit bounceback", the Sun says.

"Across the rest of Europe, traders were gripped by panic at the vote to quit the EU. It sent foreign stock markets into free-fall," the paper adds.


Eye-catching angles

  • The Sun pictures the 27 flags of EU nations and writes "goodbye" in 27 languages.
  • The Financial Times publishes graphics showing "a nation divided" by age, location and education. Remain did better with younger voters, people in Scotland, London and Northern Ireland, and areas where more people have degrees, it says.
  • The Mail picks out "angry luvvies" who backed Remain and "attacked" the result. The paper's list includes JK Rowling, Hugh Laurie, James Corden and Gary Lineker.
Image copyright PA/Getty/AP

'Newspaper crusade'

The Sun and the Express both claim credit for the referendum result.

Under the headline "Sun wot swung it", the Sun says it was the first paper to support Brexit.

"We stood up to the Remain doom-mongers," it says, adding that it gave voters the "confidence to quit the EU".

Meanwhile, the Express says it "spearheaded" the Brexit campaign, and the result brings to an end the "world's most successful newspaper crusade".


Making people click

Guardian: "If you've got money, you vote in... if you haven't got money, you vote out"

Telegraph: EU referendum results and maps: Full breakdown and find out how your area voted

Mirror: Stunned EU bosses order Britain to "Pack your bags and get out now"

Mail: It all ends in tears: David Cameron stands down in the wake of historic Brexit vote with emotional resignation speech as rival Boris Johnson makes first pitch to take over