Sun. Apr 21st, 2019

Newspaper headlines: Brexit ’emergency’ and ‘Break-xit’ campaign

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Many of Friday’s papers lead with Brexit again – although when some went to print, EU leaders were still locked in discussions over the UK’s request to postpone the leaving date beyond 29 March. The i, however, waited until the result of the talks were announced. The paper reports on the EU agreeing to extend Brexit either until 22 May if Theresa May’s deal is agreed in the next few weeks, or until 12 April if not.
The Guardian is critical of Mrs May’s appeal to EU leaders for a Brexit extension while at the EU summit in Brussels, saying she “failed to persuade” them. It quotes one EU leader’s aide as saying Mrs May’s plea was “dreadful”. The aide adds: “Asked three times what she would do if she lost the vote, she couldn’t say.”
The Financial Times calls the new April Brexit deadline a “guillotine date”, by which time the UK must say whether it is holding EU elections, leaving with a deal or leaving without a deal. The paper leads on a quote from trade union TUC and the business CBI, saying the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was a “national emergency”. The FT quotes one diplomat, who said French President Emmanuel Macron asked Mrs May: “Theresa, where are we going?”
The Mail focuses on Mrs May’s attitude to a no-deal Brexit. The paper reports that three senior ministers said they believe that if her Brexit deal is rejected by MPs again next week, she would rather leave without a deal than a long extension. This “tough” stance “panicked EU leaders” at the summit in Brussels, the paper says.
Brexit also features on the Daily Star’s front page – but the paper says it has had enough. Describing itself as a “fun-loving” paper, the Star has launched a campaign for one day of rest from any Brexit talks. Leading the campaign is the paper’s “unpolitical editor”. “It’s time for a Break-xit,” the paper says. “In other words: SHUT IT!”
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee made up of Conservative backbench MPs, visited Theresa May on Monday to tell her that many of his colleagues want her to stand down. The paper says he was “bombarded with texts” asking him to confront her. It comes amid “stark warnings inside cabinet that her administration could fall within a week,” the paper adds.
And the Metro focuses on reports that the Ministry of Defence has “activated” a nuclear bunker underneath its London headquarters “amid mounting fears of a Brexit emergency”. At the base, officials will be in charge of the 3,500 troops who have been put on standby to deal with any potential disruption if there is a no-deal Brexit – such as making sure food gets through ports or rioting.
The Daily Mirror leads on the news that police searching for missing student Libby Squire have confirmed that they have found her body in the Humber estuary. The 21-year-old University of Hull student was last seen in the early hours of 1 February after a night out.
The Sun reports on footballer Adam Johnson, who was jailed for six years in 2016 for grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15. According to the newspaper, the ex-Sunderland player is due to be released on Friday – but is not allowed to be alone with his daughter.

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EU agrees Brexit delay and ‘Break-xit’ campaign

Brexit dominates Friday’s papers, after the EU confirmed a delay plan.

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