Newspaper headlines: Big Ben backlash and Brexit plan published

By BBC News

Image source, PA

The government's decision to try to negotiate a temporary customs relationship with the EU after Brexit is widely discussed.

The Daily Mail says "an eminently workable" Brexit strategy is taking shape.

According to the Times, Chancellor Philip Hammond has won a cabinet battle for a business-friendly Brexit transition, which could see the current arrangement stay in place for up to three years.

The paper says the government's proposals show Mr Hammond has the upper hand over Trade Secretary Liam Fox - who had wanted to be able to sign deals with non-EU countries straight away.

But an analysis piece in the Guardian argues that it is Mr Hammond who has "raised the white flag", giving up his dream of an indefinite transition phase.

John Springfield from the pro-European think tank, the Centre for European Reform, argues in the Guardian that it is the EU that will decide the nature of any transition period Britain gets, and the type of deal put forward by the government is impossible to agree with the EU.

There's simply not enough time left to negotiate it, he says.

The Sun disagrees. The paper argues it is as much in Brussels' interest as the UK's to get a deal. The paper says that makes an agreement far more likely than not.

CityUK, which represents the London financial sector, tells the Financial Times it welcomes an interim customs period - calling it vital.

Meanwhile, the CBI says the proposals are "encouraging" but both organisations say more is needed.

There is criticism of plans to stop Big Ben's chimes because of concerns about the hearing of workers involved in a restoration scheme.

The Daily Mail believes health and safety has succeeded in silencing the bells where the Luftwaffe failed.

The Sun says the project is "all bong wrong" and officials should have come up with a more imaginative solution to protect the workers.

The Daily Telegraph also asks why a compromise was not possible to keep the bell in action.

In its leader column, the paper says that the most famous emblem of the nation is being silenced at a crucial time as the UK negotiates the terms of its new identity.

It asks "if the ravens are also to be dispatched from the tower" a reference to the superstition that if the ravens leave the Tower of London the Crown - and Britain - will fall.

Image source, Reuters

The Guardian bids "good riddance" to the collapsed project to build a "garden bridge" in the heart of London.

The paper says the scheme - which has cost £37m in public money - accentuated the north-south divide and may one day be judged as "the peak of the capital's narcissistic hubris".

In contrast, the Times says the bridge would have been a fine addition, drawing people in as a symbol of a thriving city, and says the decision to abandon it "suggests a distinct lack of ambition".

The main story in the Daily Express is about research which says a glass of wine or pint of beer a day can reduce the risk of early death.

Scientists in China, who looked at the health of more than 300,000 Americans, said their findings showed light drinking may actually have "protective" health effects.

The Mail points out this directly contradicts official guidance from the UK's chief medical officer - but the experts argue the benefit to the heart outweighs the risk of cancers.

The paper also reports that the way to make wine taste better is to put a high price tag on it, after volunteers who tasted the same wine with different price labels said the one thought to be most expensive tasted the best.

BT is to cull about half of the 40,000 public phone boxes on the UK's streets, the Financial Times reports, as it calls time on those which attract more visitors wanting to spend a penny than 60p on a call.

Phone boxes still handle 33,000 calls a day and the telecoms company can't decommission boxes in suicide hotspots, or areas where mobile coverage is poor.

But it says while those in prisons, hospitals and railway stations make money it often costs more to collect the money from others than they actually generate.

And finally, the Sun warns that the price of a bacon butty is set to soar as the cost of pork has reached a four-year-high on international trading floors.

It says demand is outstripping supply and butter is twice the price of a year ago, as farmers switch to making more profitable cheese.

"It's a hard-to-swallow hike for the classic butty", the paper says.