Newspaper headlines: 'Golden age' promises and 'extreme Brexit' fears

By BBC News

  • Published
State Opening of ParliamentImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
The Queen outlined the government's agenda at Thursday's State Opening of Parliament

There's much analysis of the Queen's Speech in Friday's papers.

The Guardian believes Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a vision pointing "towards a harder Brexit and sweeping constitutional reforms". It feels the decision to make several amendments to the Brexit bill, including stripping out protections for workers' rights, destroyed "any illusions that the prime minister might have been planning to face down his hardline Eurosceptics and pivot towards a softer Brexit".

The Sun says Mr Johnson "cracked the whip" by removing any role for Parliament to "tamper" with his plans. It adds that he is "parking his tanks on Labour's turf" and his plan aims to make the party "irrelevant" at the next election.

For the Daily Telegraph, it was "one of the most ambitious 'Golden age' promises and 'extreme Brexit' fears[speeches] in modern times". It thinks it shows that Brexit can be done now the government has the numbers and the will to do it. The way to win the next two elections, it argues, is to "liberate and enrich the parts of Britain that Labour let down".

The Daily Express talks of a "sense of optimism, mission and sheer vitality" being on display in Parliament.

The great "gridlock" in the Commons is "finally over", argues the Daily Mail. The paper acknowledges that many of the prime minister's plans to "revitalise the nation will take years to come to fruition", but it says "there is no time to lose in getting them under way".

It describes the plans as bold, but if he wants to achieve his ambition of 10 years in Downing Street he must learn from Tony Blair, who has said he didn't use the momentum of victory "to move further and faster at the beginning of his term".

HuffPost UK says it felt as though Mr Johnson wanted "two full terms in No.10 to carry out his vision of how the UK can be transformed by 'blue collar conservatism'".

Writing for the Spectator's website, Isabel Hardman believes that, for the first time in a decade, the government can "confidently" say that it really "can do what it wants" without fear that its own MPs will "scupper" its policies "before they have a chance to be implemented".

The Daily Mirror expresses concern about Mr Johnson's approach, saying the speech was "long on promises but short on commitments".

The "i" highlights the "absence" of a long-term plan to tackle the social care crisis. The paper's editor, Oliver Duff, argues that the pledge to put £1bn a year more into the system "falls far short of the revolution needed".

The Daily Mail says there's "precious little clarity on social care reform, without which no amount of extra money will be enough to fix the NHS".

Independence challenge

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon's release of a document calling for a second referendum on Scottish independence is part of what the "i" sees as a "small but significant ratcheting up of the tension between the governments in London and Edinburgh".

Image caption,
Ms Sturgeon was speaking at her official Bute House residence in Edinburgh

It thinks the true test for SNP's plans may be the Holyrood elections in 2021, which could be the moment when Mr Johnson cannot block a referendum any longer.

The Guardian says he must recognise that the challenge from Scotland, underlined by Ms Sturgeon, "cannot just be met with snobbish insults".

In the world of finance

The Financial Times focuses on the expected announcement of the Bank of England's new governor, reporting that the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, has emerged as the favourite.

The paper says the candidates' views on leaving the EU were a key factor - and the director of the London School of Economics, Dame Minouche Shafik, was rejected by the prime minister because of her criticism of Brexit.

The Times has more on its revelations that traders gained access to Bank of England news conferences before they were officially broadcast.

It says the Bank "should have been aware that its press conferences risked being hijacked after the European Central Bank addressed a similar issue this year".

The paper calls it an "astonishing embarrassment" for the Bank and believes it "raises troubling questions about its competence".

Andrew Sentance, a former member of the Bank's monetary policy committee, tells City A.M. that the breach "raises questions about how secure the Bank's communications are".

Across the pond

Image source, Reuters

The vote by the US House of Representatives to impeach President Trump was, suggests the Times, "the easy bit". It says the much harder bit of convicting him is yet to come.

The Guardian thinks "the risk of impeachment backfiring is real" - but it concludes "the danger of not acting" would "send the worst message to Mr Trump and to the presidents who follow".

The Washington Post says "questions continued to swirl about the timing and scope" of the trial in the Senate, while the LA Times talks of the hearing being in doubt.

The New York Times suggests some leading Democrats are "pushing to delay" the transfer of the charges to the Senate and others are "advocating that they be withheld altogether". It appears likely, concludes the paper, that the limbo could "persist until the new year".

News you can use

The Times offers its readers advice about how to avoid getting a cold on a plane.

It highlights guidance which the English Institute of Sport has given to athletes. Travellers are advised to avoid seats near the toilets, and choose a window seat to "minimise the chance of coming into contact with people standing in the aisle". Passengers should also disinfect armrests, seatbelt buckles and trays.