Newspaper headlines: Brexit arms deals and 'priciest' divorce

By BBC News


Britain has dramatically increased the value of weaponry and defence equipment it sells since the Brexit vote, the i paper reports on Monday.

The paper claims to have seen figures which show the government cleared export licences worth £2.9bn to 35 countries considered "repressive". For its part, the government says it has one of the most "robust export control regimes in the world".

Elsewhere, in a mixed bag of headlines, the talks to try to save troubled construction giant Carillion are covered widely.

For many, the question is - as the Daily Mail puts it - why was the failing firm given £1.5bn of state contracts as it teetered on the brink of collapse?

In the Daily Mirror's words, this is a sorry tale of appalling errors by a company that over-reached itself.

The Times says the company's fate lies in government hands after its lenders indicated they would not rescue it without ministerial help. According to the Financial Times, one person who attended the talks said the government was open to the idea of underwriting the group's debts to secure more funding from bankers.

Image source, Reuters

The Guardian unveils its new-look tabloid format on Monday with the familiar blue and white masthead replaced with black lettering.

The revamped front page carries a picture of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who's announced that she's to run as a Democratic candidate for the Senate. And its lead story says medical students at Keele University are being urged to volunteer to help relieve local hospitals struggling to cope with winter pressures.

The head of the medical school is said to have suggested to fourth and fifth year students they should be doing whatever they can to support local services alongside their learning.

Boris's Brexit fears

According to the Sun, Boris Johnson privately fears that the decision to leave the EU could be reversed.

The paper says the foreign secretary believes the "establishment" across Whitehall and the City will step up their efforts in the next 12 months to halt Britain's departure.

He's said to have confided in friends his concerns that Theresa May will be worn down by mandarins and cabinet Remainers - and eventually accept a bad deal.

The Telegraph's lead says the medical records of patients in England diagnosed with lung cancer over a four-year period have been handed to an American firm working for one of the world's biggest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International.

It says the information - from anonymised NHS records - was taken without the consent of the patients or their families.

According to the paper, the firm said it wanted to examine the relationship between tobacco use and cancer. But, the paper adds, many will suspect the data will ultimately be used to further the commercial ends of the tobacco industry.

Public Health England - which released the data - tells the paper it had a legal duty to do so as it was requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Black is the new black

Figures from the motor industry show that black has overtaken white as Britain's favourite colour for new cars.

The Mail says white had been the number one choice for four consecutive years, but has now dropped to third, behind grey in second place.

The Telegraph says the reason for the fall in white sales is that drivers are too busy to wash their cars. Once popular colours, such as blue and green, have fallen out of favour, with an expert telling the paper: "Plainer, safer colours deliver better resale values."

Image source, PA

And finally, the public are being offered an exclusive venue for fine dining - the House of Commons.

The Mail reports that officials want to open up the exclusive catering facilities overlooking the Thames as they seek to end the taxpayer-funded subsidies on MPs' bars and restaurants - and are aiming for a Michelin star.