Newspaper headlines: MPs 'seize control of Brexit'

By BBC News

  • Published

Taking back control has been a theme of Theresa May's Brexit vision but Tuesday's front pages reveal that MPs have "seized control" of the process, after yet another government defeat in the Commons.

That's the phrase used by the Times, which says the move is likely to begin a process that could result in Parliament backing a "softer" Brexit, meaning one with a closer relationship to the EU than that set out by the PM.

The paper adds that some of Mrs May's closest allies appear to be abandoning her, with her former de facto deputy, Damian Green, voting against the government.

The Daily Express blames what it calls "Remainer MPs" for the outcome, under the headline: "They've now stolen what's left of Brexit".

It claims MPs are trying to thwart the result of the referendum and says the ensuing deadlock could result in a general election.

The Guardian says the country has lurched deeper into what it calls "Brexit paralysis", with the prime minister pulling plans for a third vote on her deal but saying she hoped it could still win support.

It adds that she failed to set out any alternative to her plan, and declined to say whether she would abide by the outcome of any votes in Parliament on different options.

The Daily Mirror's front-page take is "Clueless May loses control of Brexit deal". It says the prime minister is under mounting pressure to admit her proposed deal is dead, and to come up with a Plan B.

It adds that she's angered and alienated Brexiteers by saying that no-deal is no longer an option.

Image source, UK Parliament/Mark Duffy

The Sun says it can reveal that Mrs May has, for the first time, indicated that she will consider resigning in exchange for MPs passing her Brexit deal.

It claims she made the offer during a meeting with senior Brexit-supporting Tory MPs at Chequers on Sunday.

However, the paper reports that many Conservatives want a public declaration from the prime minister before any further vote on her deal.

And the Financial Times says there are few signs of any growing support for her deal - saying her relations with Tory Brexiteers and the DUP are worsening.

In its editorial, the Daily Telegraph rails against what it calls a "deplorable state of affairs". It describes the prime minister's statement to the Commons yesterday as "paragon of obfuscation dressed up as a series of pragmatic responses to a difficult situation".

And it decries the fact that Britain is not, as originally planned, due to leave the EU on Friday as "a monumental failure of the political process".

The Sun expresses its anger in a strongly worded editorial attacking what it calls "Labour's soft Brexit squad".

Image source, AFP

It goes on to criticise those who've signed a petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled, saying "no sane person is impressed by 5.6 million Remainers signing a petition"; and then takes aim at those who went on Saturday's pro-EU march, describing them as "grey-haired Waitrose regulars... hoisting snarky little placards".

Writing in the Guardian, the former Conservative deputy prime minister, Lord Heseltine, describes Theresa May as "a leader in name only" because "she no longer has any control over events". He says the House of Commons is divided, but MPs can still do their job - adding that "many will do it above party loyalty".

The front page headline in the Daily Mail asks: "Is Britain plunging into yet another election?"

The paper says Mrs May appeared to hint that an election may be needed to break the deadlock, after telling MPs she was not prepared to accept a soft Brexit even if they voted for such a scenario. It describes the government's Brexit strategy as "going into meltdown" - with senior ministers war-gaming election scenarios.


Finally, many papers report on the British Airways plane that flew to Edinburgh, instead of Dusseldorf.

The Times says passengers on flight 3271 from London City Airport were taken on what it calls "a magical mystery tour" - but wonders why none of them noticed that they weren't flying over the English Channel.

To the Daily Express, it was all "plane stupid", while the Metro describes those responsible as "Dusseldorks".