Newspaper headlines: Rejoice and revolts as 'Brexit begins'

"We have lift-off" is the Daily Mail's front page headline on Wednesday night's Brexit vote in the Commons.

It describes the vote - by 498 to 114 - as a "crushing majority" to start the formal process of leaving the European Union.

Its front page - complete with union flags, a picture of Sir Winston Churchill's statue and Big Ben - heralds a "momentous day for Britain".

The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, says the period of "phoney Brexit" is now over, adding that at the point of the vote "our bridges were burned and there's no way back".

The paper's editorial goes on to say there is "no point pretending that the process is going to be straightforward".

It adds that one ambition must be to "avoid it seriously damaging relations with the rest of Europe".

The Financial Times reports that even as Theresa May celebrated victory, there were warnings of the difficulties to come from her former EU ambassador, Ivan Rogers.

He said resolving demands from Brussels for a £60bn exit payment could descend into name-calling and a diplomatic "fist-fight".

The Guardian is one of a number of papers to highlight the split that has emerged in the Labour Party - with more than a fifth of its MPs defying Jeremy Corbyn's orders and voting against the Brexit legislation.

The paper's editorial says the party's difficulties were "etched" on the face of shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, as he wove his way through what it called the "mess of conflicting ambitions that constitute current party policy".

The editorial says: "We would rather that the party had voted with its heart than, as it perhaps did, with an eye on its electoral prospects in leave areas like Stoke and Copeland."


Away from the Brexit debate, UKIP could face a £500,000 bill over claims it misused EU cash, according to the Times.

The paper says Nigel Farage, Paul Nuttall and six other party MEPs are under investigation.

It adds that they could be told to pay back the money if their full time European parliamentary assistants were found to have also been working for a national party.

A UKIP spokesman has rejected the allegations.

Image copyright Reuters

Several papers, including the i newspaper and the Guardian have a picture of the party's former leader Nigel Farage speaking at the European parliament yesterday.

Also visible in the photo is the Labour MEP Seb Dance.

He is holding up a piece of paper with an arrow pointing towards Mr Farage with the words "he's lying to you".


The Telegraph reports that a major overhaul of the Official Secrets Act is under way in the face of what it calls a "growing threat from Russia".

Spies and civil servants who leak secrets would face up to 14 years in jail, according to the paper.

It says the proposals aim to replace existing laws with a modern espionage act and a data disclosure law.

Under the new system, foreign spies who steal information from government departments and leak it - or those who snoop on British embassies - would face prosecution in British courts for the first time.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The original Teletubbies ran from 1997 to 2001

And finally.

Builders have accidentally dug up and smashed a Blue Peter time capsule.

According to the Sun, presenters Richard Bacon and Katy Hill buried items picked by the viewers under the Millennium Dome - now the O2 Arena - in 1998.

The capsule was supposed to remain underground until 2050.

However, workers laying cables at the O2 Arena unearthed it on Tuesday.

Items inside included a set of Tellytubby dolls, a Tamagotchi, a Spice Girls CD and, of course, a Blue Peter badge.