Newspaper headlines: May's Brexit speech previewed in press

Theresa May Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Theresa May will outline plans for Brexit in a speech on Tuesday

Theresa May's Brexit speech on Tuesday receives huge amounts of coverage.

"The omens are all good," says the Sun. "The PM and the country are in a far stronger position at this point than many dreamed, especially the Remainers."

"Britain must walk away from the EU," says the Daily Telegraph. "The economic backdrop to the prime minister's speech remains auspicious."

According to the Daily Mail, Mrs May will offer an inspiring vision of the sort of country Britain can become when unshackled from the "sclerotic Brussels machine".

Not so, says the Daily Mirror. "It's obvious the prime minister remains clueless about where she wants to take Britain and how we'll get to the destination."


There is considerable analysis of Donald Trump's interview with Michael Gove in the Times on Monday.

The Sun has a huge double-page picture of the president-elect in his office emblazoned with the headline "Our Trump card".

It says he is a big fan of the UK but sparked alarm across Europe, especially in Berlin, as he threw the weight of his incoming administration behind the break-up of the EU and hinted at a trade war.

The Times says Mr Trump's broadside "stunned Europe".

It says German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing for a meeting with Mr Trump - it says she has been unable to arrange an appointment with him and has spoken to him only once.

Sources in Berlin, the paper says, have suggested a meeting is unlikely before spring.


According to the Daily Mail, 20 hospital trusts are to take part in a pilot in which patients will be told to show a utility bill and passport before routine operations as part of a crackdown on health tourism.

The paper says this will include women planning to give birth as well as anyone having hip or knee replacements, cataract surgery or kidney dialysis.

The checks are said to be part of a joint pilot being run by the Home Office and health regulator NHS Improvement.

The 20 trusts involved are said to have run up the highest debts in health tourism.

Half of them are in London, the rest are in other English metropolitan areas including Birmingham and Manchester.


Tens of thousands of people have been on waiting lists for social housing for more than a decade, according to the Daily Mirror.

The paper quotes research from the Liberal Democrats suggesting that 104,000 people have been waiting more than five years, and at least 35,000 for more than 10 years.

"Behind every digit in the statistics," says the Mirror in an editorial, "is a family or individual denied a secure, affordable, decent home.

"To build a better Britain, we need to construct far more social housing. And fast."


Several papers tell how a retired civil servant in Ealing, west London, was approached by civil enforcement officers after pouring an unwanted coffee down a drain.

According to the Mail, Sue Peckitt was accused of littering and issued with an £80 fine.

The Sun says the officials told Ms Peckitt that tipping coffee down a drain was illegal.

The council is said to have ignored appeals against the fine but backed down after being contacted by local reporters.


The Times says tens of thousands of strike-hit Southern rail commuters could be in line for compensation from their credit card companies after a passenger apparently won back £2,400 from American Express for his season ticket.

He used an obscure part of consumer law, known as Section 75 of the Credit Card Act, to demand a 50% refund on the grounds that the goods he bought - his season ticket - were "unsatisfactory".


Finally, according to the Times, parts of Britain are in the grip of a courgette famine.

The shortage is being blamed on bad weather in southern Spain where the majority of the UK's courgettes are grown during the winter.

Consumers have been complaining on Twitter.

One reports that not a single courgette was to be found in three major cities.

Another tells the world: "I have been to about five different supermarkets in the past week and there's nothing. What an outrage!"