Newspaper headlines: GCHQ Brexit fears and fizzy drink 'shortage'

By BBC News

  • Published

The Guardian says comments by the head of GCHQ stressing the benefit of British intelligence to Europe are an unprecedented intervention in the dispute with Brussels about post-Brexit security.

Image source, GCHQ

The paper describes Jeremy Fleming's remarks as a "direct riposte" to European officials threatening to exclude Britain from EU security databases.

A Downing Street source tells the Times that the pre-eminence of British intelligence-gathering is a "compelling reason" for Brussels to agree a deal.

'Crucial day'

There is a keen sense of anticipation across the papers about the Commons show-down between the government and pro-EU Tory rebels.

It says giving Parliament the power to block a no-deal Brexit would prevent the UK from implementing what it calls "the people's will" in negotiations with Brussels. Or worse, it says, collapse the government and allow Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

"Brexit D-Day" is the Sun's take. Its leader column says Theresa May has a duty not to compromise.

Several rebels tell the Guardian they will stand firm - but the paper says they will be under "intense pressure" from the Tory whips.

Many of the papers continue the debate about whether cannabis should be legalised - with a warning from the head of the NHS in England making the front page of the Daily Mail.

The paper says after Lord Hague's call for the drug to be legalised for recreational use, Simon Stevens used a speech at a health conference in London to caution that children could end up mistakenly believing the drug is safe.

The Daily Mirror thinks Theresa May has been left looking stuck in the past, by the announcement of a review of medicinal cannabis. The paper says a move to reform should be a "no-brainer".

And the Daily Telegraph reports that Charlotte Caldwell - who led calls for change due to her son's drug-resistant epilepsy - is the director of a company that sells bottles of cannabis oil - for £500 each.

The oil does not contain the banned compound THC, which gets users high, and a spokesman for the firm tells the Telegraph the profits go towards her son's care.

'Out of fizz'

The i reports on a Europe-wide shortage of carbon dioxide - the gas that puts the bubbles in beer and soft drinks.

"Britain is running out of fizz" is the paper's headline.

Image source, Reuters

The i says supply problems have been compounded by a surge in demand due to the warm weather, and the World Cup.

Businesses across the food and drink sector are said to be affected - with one brewer telling the i they have only enough CO2 to last until next week.

Rating risk

The Financial Times reports that the out-sourcing firm Capita has been handed a £500m contract to run military fire-fighting services for the Ministry of Defence.

Image source, PA

It comes despite Capita being given the highest possible rating risk - 10 out of 10 - by an internal MoD assessment.

The Unite union tells the FT it is a sign the government has learnt nothing from the collapse of the construction giant Carillion, which also had big government contracts.

An MoD spokesman says all its suppliers are assessed robustly.

The Daily Telegraph leads with a call from the culture secretary for children to have their mobile phones taken away at the start of the school day.

In an article for the paper, Matt Hancock says phones distract pupils from their work and put them at risk of being bullied online.

'Oxbridge blokes'

The Daily Telegraph picks up on comments by the BBC's head of comedy, who described the cast of Monty Python as "six Oxbridge white blokes".

Shane Allen - while discussing the need for diversity at the launch of new comedy programmes - reportedly suggested that they would not get their break today due to their backgrounds.

The Telegraph corrects him though. There were actually five Oxbridge white blokes, it says, and one American.

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