Newspaper headlines: 'Warning of 'darkest hour' ahead over Brexit

Philip Hammond with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde Image copyright Reuters

As the Liberal Democrats' conference in Brighton ends today, the Financial Times describes how the event has exposed one of the party's biggest problems: its lack of charismatic figures.

Rafael Behr in the Guardian suggests there must be room for a party of mainstream moderation, but Sir Vince's tribe has not expanded into that space.

The Financial Times focuses on the chancellor's backing for the IMF's warning about Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

The paper sees Philip Hammond's comments as a direct challenge to Theresa May, after she recently suggested a no-deal exit would "not be the end of the world".

The Sun - which dubs him "glum Hammond" - accuses him of sabotaging the government's negotiating hand and boosting the EU's.

The main story in the Guardian is about a prediction by EU diplomats that the government will have to experience its "darkest hour" and stare into the abyss of a no-deal Brexit before it will cave into demands by Brussels.

The Times says the EU is insisting on a cast-iron guarantee that Britain will not attempt to re-open the terms of any agreement after it has been signed.

According to the paper, Brussels is preparing to demand that the prime minister makes "credible" assurances that any deal will not be unpicked by her successor.

The Daily Mail senses that realism is finally being injected into the negotiations about the Irish border.

In what it calls a striking change of tone from the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, the paper says he now appears to agree with Mrs May that there could be a technological alternative to creating a hard frontier between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

The i thinks the EU is set to water down a key aspect of its negotiating stance and in the process potentially hands Mrs May the chance to seal a deal this year.

The Daily Express reports that Whitehall officials expect the meeting of EU leaders in Austria this week will see a move towards a significant breakthrough.

The Financial Times believes the talks are entering a new, decisive phase, with all sides seeing a deal within reach, possibly in just eight weeks.

But the Daily Mirror is unhappy about Mrs May's determination to press ahead with what it calls her discredited Chequers plan. Instead, says the paper, the country needs a plan B.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the media watchdog, Ofcom, is to warn that 12 million people in Britain have been harmed by social media and the internet because online firms escape regulation.

It says Ofcom's chief executive is to outline a potential blueprint for the statutory regulation of social media firms in a way that safeguards free speech and innovation but protects the public.

What would mitigate the need for heavy-handed laws, argues the paper, is for the internet giants to recognise their duties and act responsibly.

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Most of the papers feature photos of the Duchess of Sussex visiting a community kitchen set up to help feed the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Robert Hardman in the Daily Mail feels that by making this her first public solo project, she is already putting down a few markers on the way she plans to configure her public programmes: hands-on and informal, but professional too.

The Daily Mirror believes that if she continues to muck in and mix this easily with others, she could be just the added ingredient the monarchy needs to be in touch with modern Britain.

The Daily Mail has the stark headline: "No child is safe in Drug Gang Britain."

It says the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has warned that an epidemic of drug gangs is responsible for a child protection crisis as serious as the threat of terrorism.

She estimates that up to 50,000 children are enslaved as drug runners, which the Mail believes should be a wake up call to politicians, police, schools and parents across Britain.

Finally, the Telegraph reflects on concerns - by the BBC's former head of comedy, Jon Plowman - that the dearth of TV comedy is robbing children of catchphrases.

In their absence, the paper thinks they can be found elsewhere.

Maybe, it says, even the prime minister, with "Brexit means Brexit", coined a catchphrase of surreally comic appeal.