Newspaper headlines: Crucial Brexit vote to be delayed?


The Sunday Times predicts the prime minister is to delay the Brexit vote - and will seek to emulate Margaret Thatcher by travelling to Brussels to demand a better deal in a last-ditch attempt to save her government from collapse.

According to the paper's main story, ministers and aides have convinced Theresa May that she needs "a handbag moment" with the EU if she's to have any chance of persuading her own MPs to support her.

However, Number 10 has denied the report.

The Sunday Telegraph leads with the claim that a cabinet minister is considering whether to quit over the deal.

It says International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is understood to be deciding over the next 48 hours whether to back the PM or resign.

According to the paper, government whips have given Conservative MPs until lunchtime today to set out how they will vote, in a desperate bid to judge the scale of a rebellion that threatens to bring down the government.

What happens if the government loses the Commons vote is the subject of widespread debate.

The Times says that if the prime minister is subsequently defeated in a no-confidence motion - and a second one two weeks afterwards - Jeremy Corbyn would be able to visit the Queen over Christmas to be asked to form a government.

The Observer says there's talk among senior ministers that Mrs May should form a temporary government of national unity as a "last throw of the dice" to find a majority for a Brexit plan that works.

Jacob Rees-Mogg - writing in the Mail on Sunday - wants Mrs May to stand down and suggests that, in the ensuing Tory leadership election, figures from both sides of the Brexit divide could form a joint ticket.

He says Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd could potentially deliver the Brexit people voted for.

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The Sunday People welcomes a national crackdown against loan sharks - illegal moneylenders who often charge very high interest rates.

It says they are being prosecuted at the rate of one a week - but warns: "There are still plenty of them out there"."

An investigation by the paper has found that more than 300,000 families are in their grip. It describes them as thugs who take advantage of people's desperation.

Finally, the traditional chocolate selection box is one of the highlights of Christmas - but the Times reports that some household favourites have continued to shrink in size, but not in price, just in time for the festive season.

According to the paper, the standard size tub of Quality Street has been cut by 30g - the equivalent of removing about three toffee pennies or green triangles.

An expert who monitors company brands tells the paper: "Part of the tradition is that you pass around the tub among your family.

"Suddenly now you find it has been emptied quicker than you thought. Then the grumbling starts. You change the weight at your peril."