Newspaper headlines: Brexit 'blackmail' and 'plotting' peers

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As peers begin debating the Brexit legislation, the Guardian says it has been told by European politicians that British attempts to "blackmail and divide" EU countries in the run-up to Brexit negotiations will lead to a disastrous "crash landing" out of the bloc.

They say the approach being pursued by Theresa May's government will leave the UK without a free trade deal and facing perilous consequences, reports the paper.

The Daily Express is concerned there is a plot by "remainer" Lords to delay Britain's exit from the EU.

It leads with a warning from Tory MP Philip Davies that any attempt by peers to block Brexit could lead to the demise of the House of Lords.

Elsewhere, there are divergent views on the value of advice from New Labour's elder statesmen after Lord Mandelson urged the House of Lords not to "throw in the towel" over Brexit.

According to the Sun, Lord Mandelson may think it fine to treat voters as an annoying irrelevance, but for them, that is exactly what he has become.

The Daily Mail accuses him of acting like an 18th Century aristocrat planning a last stand against the peasantry.

But Matthew d'Ancona in the Guardian welcomes Tony Blair's earlier decision to take on Brexit. "If not him, then who?" he asks.

And the Daily Telegraph reports Brexit could lead Oxford University to break with more than 700 years of tradition by establishing its first foreign campus.

The paper says French officials met senior staff at Oxford to discuss proposals that they hope will guarantee future EU funding for a satellite base in Paris. Other universities, including Warwick, are also said to have been approached.


The Times says ministers risked enraging small businesses over April's business rate revaluation.

It says it has seen a private letter to Conservative MPs in which ministers claim that a growing revolt over changes to business rates is being fuelled by lies.

The Daily Telegraph says Theresa May is facing a Cabinet split over the issue. An unnamed cabinet source tells the paper: "The last thing you want to do is whack the confidence of small businesses."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has paid for what it describes as "a massive secret opinion poll on his leadership" as rumours grow that he might quit before 2020.

It says he has ordered a 10,000 person survey but will keep the results secret from all but his closest ally, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

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The Mirror believes it is a legitimate exercise, but that keeping the findings confidential is less defensible, saying they should be shared, "warts and all".


The main news in the Daily Telegraph is a warning from Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon that millions of refugees will head to Europe from Afghanistan unless British troops maintain their roles in training local forces.

His words, says the Telegraph, are a stark reminder that, whether we like it or not, the consequences of previous Western interventions continue to this day.

According to the lead in the Daily Mail, a report has revealed that the NHS in England has cut 15,000 beds over the past six years.

The paper says that amounts to the equivalent of closing 24 hospitals at the same time as demand for beds is soaring due to the pressures of the social care crisis, immigration and an ageing population.

But ministers are disputing the accuracy of the British Medical Association's findings and NHS England tells the paper that modern treatment advances mean patients need to spend less time in hospital.


Finally, the Daily Mail, reports on research carried out by Hungarian scientists studying the effects of separating young people from their mobile phones.

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More than 80 18 to 26-year-olds were wired up to heart monitors.

The paper says researchers found that if their phones were taken away for even a short time they exhibited heartbeat patterns usually associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.