Newspaper headlines: Brexit divides front pages

Theresa May arrives to give a statement outside No 10 on 22/11/18 Image copyright AFP

With the latest twist in the Brexit saga dominating the front pages for another day, the Daily Mail may well echo some readers' thoughts with the headline: "Now let's get on with it!"

However, with papers digesting the agreement of the draft political declaration outlining the future UK-EU trading relationship, the tone of the coverage is set by the Guardian.

"May battles on all fronts to save her Brexit deal," is its front-page headline.

The Daily Express says the PM endured another mauling across the political divide. According to the Independent website, only two MPs from all parties spoke in favour of the deal during two hours of debate.

On the eve of Black Friday's retail sales, Mrs May was accused by former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of handing Brussels "the deal of the century", reports the Sun.

The papers themselves don't seem to like the deal much either. The Daily Telegraph describes it as a mixture of warm and woolly adjectives and hard-edged caveats.

Similarly, the Sun calls it a "woolly... wish-list that barely binds Brussels to anything" while the Guardian argues that the big issues have been kicked into various lengths of long grass.

"It's almost comically vague," says the Times. "Indeed the over-riding purpose of this document is to keep all options for the future relationship open. It's designed to allow anyone to read into it what they want."

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Still, the prime minister - who is taking audience questions on the BBC News Channel and Radio 5 live between 12:30 and 13:00 GMT - can always try to win over the public.

Both the Financial Times and Daily Mail report that Mrs May is to turn to business leaders and the public to sell the deal, after failing to win over Conservative Eurosceptic MPs.

The FT says she believes she can "turn the political debate in the run-up to the Commons vote by going over the heads of MPs, mobilising corporate Britain and persuading her Westminster critics that the public are clamouring for a deal".

MI5 failures

The report by MPs investigating last year's terror attacks - highlighting the failure by MI5 to establish how dangerous the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, really was - makes the lead for the Daily Mirror.

"Four missed chances to stop bomber," is its headline.

Image caption Salman Abedi killed 22 people in the bombing at Manchester Arena in May 2017

The Times acknowledges that police resources are finite and that the number of people previously tracked but no longer under active investigation runs into tens of thousands.

Yet, it adds, there was enough evidence to demonstrate that Abedi was a pressing risk and the authorities should have been immediately alerted.


Finally, the parish council in Wool in Dorset was stunned to receive a letter from animal campaigners saying they wanted the name of the village to be changed to Vegan Wool because the present name promotes cruelty to sheep.

The Times says the campaigners suggested a change of name would promote kindness to sheep.

"Ewe must be joking", is says the Mirror, which reports that the village's 2,000 residents were promised "cruelty-free" woollen blankets if the idea was taken up.

However, the Mail says residents have pointed out that the name is actually derived from an ancient word for water springs - and has nothing to do with sheep.

For the Sun, the idea is "Just Baaa-rmy".