Newspaper headlines: May-Sturgeon 'stand-off' and 'choking' EU red tape

Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images

Several papers feature photographs of Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon sitting side-by-side during their meeting on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph says it was Ms Sturgeon's "big chance" to tackle Mrs May over Scottish independence, but the prime minister "dictated terms" and "ran down the clock".

"The great British stand-off" ended in deadlock, according to the i paper.

The Daily Mail describes the atmosphere during the meeting as "distinctly frosty" - before asking "never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it?" - and devoting more than a page to assessing the figures and wardrobes of the two leaders.


Prescription cutbacks

A review of whether some over-the-counter remedies should remain available on prescription is described by the front page of the Daily Mail as a "blueprint to save the NHS".

The paper's editorial welcomes the "common sense idea", claiming it is "positively criminal" for the NHS to be spending up to twenty times more than the High Street cost to provide paracetamol each year.

The Mail dismisses the argument that making people pay for basic medicines is privatisation by the back door as a "whine" by the Left, and says NHS bosses are simply recognising the reality that without radical reform, the health service is in "grave danger of collapse".

And in what it describes as a "fundamental change to policing", The Times says the government has drawn up proposals for a new law which would allow civilians to apply for the 43 chief constable positions in England and Wales.

The paper suggests the plans "will cause anger" in the police service because the idea of rising through the ranks is "deeply ingrained".

The Times uses its editorial to argue that the existing arrangements can lead to habits of "risk-aversion, and a preference for the status quo" and concludes it is sensible to cast the net to include those in senior positions in other sectors.


Red tape woes

The former Cabinet minister, Iain Duncan Smith, has told The Daily Telegraph that the government should carry out a root-and-branch review of regulations after Brexit, to reduce the "burden" on businesses and citizens.

The paper agrees, and calls on the government to "promise a bonfire of EU red tape" in their 2020 manifesto. Its editorial says it would be a "tragedy" if Britain emerged from a divisive referendum and tortuous divorce proceedings "almost exactly the same as it was before".

The thoughts of Mr Duncan-Smith are also featured by The Daily Express, which says he has "hit back" at EU demands for the UK to pay a multi billion-pound divorce settlement, by claiming that Brussels could owe Britain a similar figure.

The Guardian says pro-EU Conservatives are to urge Theresa May to "reach a quick deal" over the sum, in order to maximise the chances of concluding a free-trade deal with Europe within the next two years.

The MPs are said to be concerned that dragging out the issue would give supporters of a so-called "hard Brexit" an excuse for walking away from the negotiating table without a deal.


Daffodil dispute

With the headline "U-Swizz", The Sun claims that the price comparison website, U-Switch, is hiding the best energy deals from customers.

The paper says an investigation has established that U-Switch initially only shows deals from firms that pay it commission. U-Switch told The Sun its website is in line with rules proposed by the regulator, Ofgem.

Image copyright Reuters

Two girls who picked some daffodils from the roadside for a Mother's Day gift for their gran - only to see them confiscated by police - are described as "Petal Criminals" by The Daily Mirror.

The Daily Express accepts the act was against the law, but criticises what it sees as the "heavy-handed response" by officers. At the very most, it says, a quiet word with dad, warning him not to make a habit of it, "would have been more than enough".