Newspaper headlines: May and Macron's Brexit delay talks

The Telegraph Wednesday

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A photograph of Theresa May greeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris adorns several front pages, after the PM met him for Brexit talks on Tuesday. “Sealed with a kiss” is the headline for the Daily Telegraph. The paper says EU leaders feel Mrs May’s plan for an extension until 30 June is too much of a “risk” – but they are poised to offer a delay of up to a year. But the paper adds that, if a long delay is agreed, Mrs May will face immediate calls for her to quit.

The Metro Wednesday 10 April

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Also splashing with the photo of Mrs May and Mr Macron, the Metro says the French leader is pushing for a long Brexit delay until December, despite the UK’s wish for an extension until the end of June. Mr Macron is expected to demand some added conditions, the paper adds – including that the UK will be excluded from EU decision-making during the delay, in case a Brexiteer PM takes over.

The Times Wednesday

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The Times says Mr Macron – who supports imposing conditions on the UK to ensure “good behaviour” if there is a delay – has been warned by European Council President Donald Tusk not to humiliate Mrs May. Mr Tusk called on EU leaders to treat the UK with respect to avoid poisoning future relations, the paper says.

The Guardian Wednesday

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The Guardian also focuses on comments from Mr Tusk. It reports that Mrs May’s request for a short Brexit postponement has been “torn up” after Mr Tusk used a letter to EU leaders to “pick apart” the UK’s plea. Any delay agreed by the EU is more likely to last until next March, the paper says.

The i newspaper Wednesday

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Like many others, the i newspaper is similarly doubtful about Mrs May’s chances of securing the shorter Brexit delay that she wants. Alongside a photo of Mrs May and Germany’s Angela Merkel in what appears to be an animated discussion, the paper says EU leaders are likely to back an extension of up to a year at the summit. Meanwhile, a separate headline dubs Mr Macron “Europe’s bad cop”.

Daily Mail Wednesday

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Under the headline “Another year in limbo” (with the word “year” underlined for added effect), the Daily Mail describes the prospect of such a delay to Brexit as “humiliating”. It also quotes the EU’s Mr Tusk, saying he wants a long delay to “allow the UK to rethink its Brexit strategy”. But Mr Tusk said the withdrawal deal will not be unpicked under any circumstances, the paper adds – even if a new Conservative leader is elected. The paper reports that government sources say Mrs May is “now resigned to a longer period if EU leaders demanded it”.

Daily Express Wednesday

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The Brexit-supporting Daily Express’s headline – “Will we ever escape EU clutches?” – is similarly despairing in its tone. The accompanying front-page story says some Conservative MPs were furious at the expected “lengthy” delay to Brexit. The paper quotes Brexiteer backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg as saying: “This shows that the EU has no interest in democracy and expects voters to be cowed into obedience.”

Daily Mirror Wednesday

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The Daily Mirror leads with its own investigation into the profits that MPs have made from selling their homes – property on which they had claimed expenses to help with their mortgage repayments. The paper says that 160 MPs have made £42m profit selling houses that were part-funded by the taxpayer. Included among the MPs named is Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The paper says he did not respond to a request for comment. Under current rules, if MPs sell the house, they are allowed to keep the gains.

The Sun Wednesday

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Former minister Boris Johnson makes the front page of Wednesday’s Sun newspaper – but through nothing of his own doing. The newspaper has interviewed TV presenter and musician Fuzz Townshend – who hosts programme Car SOS – who has claimed he “pranked” Mr Johnson by once dipping his penis in the politician’s pint. Mr Townshend claims that he was invited to the pub by mutual friends of Mr Johnson’s and had bought a round of drinks before taking one into the toilet.

Daily Star

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Instead of Brexit, Wednesday’s Daily Star is focusing on “brekkie-xit”. The paper says the UK’s bacon sandwiches are “under threat”, claiming “China snaps up all our pigs”. It says the price of pork has risen 38% in a month – and experts worry that panic-buying could lead to further shortages.

Financial Times Wednesday

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The main story for the Financial Times is on Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant. According to the paper, the company is attracting lots of financial interest, showing investors are not put off from doing business with the country despite last year’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul . The killing caused a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and some of its closest allies, including the US. Saudi officials strongly deny that his death was sanctioned by the authorities.

Several of Wednesday’s newspaper front pages lead with Brexit, ahead of an EU summit in Brussels later where Theresa May will make her case for a delay until 30 June.

“Will we ever escape EU clutches?” is the despairing headline on the front page of the Daily Express – alongside a photograph of the French President Emmanuel Macron embracing Mrs May warmly in Paris.

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Mrs May met France’s Mr Macron in Paris on Tuesday

The i newspaper says EU leaders are set to rebuff Mrs May and insist on a long delay to Brexit, while the Guardian says the prime minister’s hopes of leaving soon have been “dashed”.

The Times hopes that EU leaders will take the risk of offering Britain a long delay – warning that the fallout from a chaotic no deal would be far worse that the destabilising effect of continued uncertainty.

The Daily Mail blames “inept” MPs for the “humiliating” prospect of “another year in limbo”.

It says members of the political class have undermined Mrs May in her honest bid to secure an honourable Brexit and are guilty of hypocrisy and betrayal.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph says many senior Tories believe a long Brexit extension will make Mrs May’s tenure unsustainable. It says the party may change the rules to remove her if she doesn’t resign.

In its editorial comment, the paper says that “rather than wait to be toppled” the prime minister should set out the timetable for her departure so that a replacement leader can be chosen as soon as possible”.

Crime-fighting firefighters

The Telegraph and the Times report that firefighters in Devon and Somerset have trained as special constables and been given powers of arrest in an attempt to boost the number of police officers.

Seven have qualified under the pilot scheme and will be known as “community responders”.

The Fire Brigades Union says it will erode public trust in the fire service.

But the local police commissioner says the responders will be a great addition to rural communities.

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Meanwhile, 10 years after the expenses scandal, the Daily Mirror has been totting up how much MPs have made from selling homes that were partly-paid for by taxpayers.

It estimates that 160 of them shared profits of £42m – with some making £1m each.

Under parliamentary rules the MPs are allowed to keep the money, but the former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alistair Graham, tells the paper they should repay any profit they made.

The Sun claims the government’s own research suggests that its plan to ban adverts for junk food before 9pm will cut just two calories a day from children’s diets – the equivalent of less than half a Smartie.

The paper accuses ministers of surrendering to “middle class public health zealots who spend their lives tut-tutting at working people’s grub”.

In another story, the Sun reports that Elvis Presley’s mansion Graceland, could be dismantled and rebuilt in Japan, the Middle East or China because of a dispute about the future of the site.

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Getty Images

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Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, is now a tourist attraction

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates the singer’s home as a tourist attraction, is unhappy that Memphis City Council is refusing to pay for a new 6,000-seat indoor arena.

Its managing director says he’s received generous offers to move the building abroad.

According to the Financial Times, Sir Paul McCartney has weighed into a row about funding for the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

The former Beatle helped raise £18m to open the college on the site of his old school in 1996.

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Sir Paul McCartney has called for the government to help the arts college he set up

It has lost hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in state funding because of policy changes that critics say favour bigger institutions.

Sir Paul says the college is his “passion” and part of his legacy and he has called on the government to intervene.

Six months after the murder of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Financial Times sees signs that banks and investors are prepared to draw a line under the killing.

News of his murder sparked international outrage at the time and business leaders boycotted a conference in Riyadh.

But the state-backed oil company, Saudi Aramco, is now poised to raise $12bn in its first international bond sale – after attracting $100bn dollars in orders.

And several papers report the birth in Sweden of the first baby to be delivered from a donated womb which was transplanted using robot-assisted keyhole surgery.

The new technique is said to be less dangerous for donor than traditional surgery. The womb came from the baby’s grandmother. One surgeon tells the Telegraph that the delivery of such a special, longed-for child was “simply wonderful”.

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