Paper review: 'Big freeze' and fresh Brexit doubts

Daily Express

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Many of Monday’s papers lead with the freezing weather that hit the country over the weekend. The Daily Express warns of snow, black ice and gales for the start of the week, but claims that Britain will face Arctic conditions until Christmas Day.

Daily star

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The Daily Star calls it “Black Ice Monday” in its headline, saying temperatures as low as -15C could hit the UK. It says the morning commute will bring “travel hell” as the country is turned into “a massive skating rink”.

Daily Mirror

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The Daily Mirror has a similar take with the headline “Black Monday”. It reports on the “snow blitz chaos” from Sunday that led to delayed trains and closed airports, adding that many schools will also be forced to close come Monday morning.


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As well as reporting on the weather – using the headline “Snow bomb” – the Metro says there will be a boost for first-time buyers as houses prices experience the biggest fall in five years. The paper says the average asking price has dropped by £8,000 across the UK and £23,000 in London over the past month.


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The i reports on David Davis’ interview on the Andrew Mrr show on Sunday, saying the government will not pay the so-called “divorce bill” if trade talks with the EU fail. The paper says it contradicts reassurances from Chancellor Philip Hammond last week, meaning a “cabinet rift looms”.

The Times

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The Times says Mr Davis’ words had left Theresa May’s “delicate Brexit compromise” with Ireland, achieved after Friday’s last-minute deal with the EU, “in danger of unravelling”. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar considered the agreement “politically bulletproof” and “cast iron”, but the Brexit Secretary said it was just a “statement of intent”, adding: “No deal means that we won’t be paying the money.”


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The Guardian also reports on a “clash” with the Irish government after Mr Davis’ comments. The paper says Mrs May had also suggested that there was still flexibility in the deal after it saw a letter from the PM to all Tory MPs, promising “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.


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Chemical and pharmaceutical companies are urging the government to allow them to stay inline within EU rules or risk the future of the industry, reports the Financial Times. The Chemical Industries Association’s chief executive, Steve Elliott, has written to Michael Gove, saying whilst EU regulations were “far from perfect”, it was the best way of ensuring that “cars continue to run, planes continue to fly and medicines continue to work”.

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The Daily Telegraph reports that the NHS is asking primary school pupils if they feel comfortable with their gender in what it deems a “trans survey”. The paper says children are also asked to tick a box to confirm their true gender, with options of “boy”, “girl” and “other”.

Daily Mail

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According to the Daily Mail, more than a quarter of local authorities in England are not recycling everyday plastics. Items such as plastic pots and food trays are not being collected, despite labels saying they are “widely recycled”.


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The Sun reports that hundreds of Russia’s “worst football thugs” will be free to go to the World Cup due to what the paper calls a “government blunder”.

Most papers have pictures of large swathes of Britain covered by a blanket of snow.

The Daily Telegraph says Highways England claimed much of Sunday’s disruption on the roads was due to a lack of cars.

It quotes an official saying that the gritters relied on traffic spreading the salt, but most people heeded warnings not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

The Daily Express says the “big freeze” is set to get worse, with Arctic conditions possible until Christmas Day.

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Up to 30cm (12in) of snow coated the country on Sunday

The Times believes Theresa May’s delicate Brexit compromise on Ireland is in danger of “unravelling” after the government’s commitment to the deal was questioned in both Brussels and Dublin.

The paper says the Brexit Secretary, David Davis – who on Sunday described Friday’s agreement as a “statement of intent” which was not legally enforceable – is said to have exasperated officials on the continent and in the Irish Republic.

According to the i, Mr Davis has “broken ranks” on the EU deal by saying that Britain will refuse to pay a divorce bill if the trade talks fail.

‘Canada plus?’

HuffPost UK says the Irish government will hold the British government “to account” for the deal and described the Brexit secretary’s comments as “bizarre”.

In an editorial, the Daily Telegraph says that throughout the tortuous Brexit process, the government’s position has been remarkably consistent.

It says that as long ago as last November a ministerial aide was photographed in Downing Street, carrying papers with the headline “Canada Plus.”

The paper says this is the government’s aim – taking the UK out of the single market and the customs union, while retaining as much frictionless trade as possible.

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Davis Davis made the comments on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show

The chairman of one of the NHS’s biggest trusts, Lord Kerslake, tells the Guardian that he has resigned because hospitals are so seriously underfunded that they cannot perform their key roles properly.

Lord Kerslake, who has left his role at King’s College Hospital, London, says that ministers are “in denial” about how much money the NHS requires.

NHS England’s leadership is locked in a public dispute with ministers over what they claim is the denial of sufficient funds to the health service.

It is thought Lord Kerslake’s resignation could prompt a renewed focus on government funding of the health service.

Domestic violence

The Independent says police are failing to attend around 11% of domestic violence calls, up from 5% between 2012 and 2016.

The paper says the number of alleged domestic violence incidents going unattended by police has soared, with the worst offending forces missing a quarter of call-outs.

Ashes ‘factions’

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, former England batsman, Kevin Pietersen, believes “factional” splits could be emerging among the England cricket side attempting to defend the Ashes down under.

At 2-0 down in the five match series ahead of Thursday’s third test in Perth at the WACA, Pietersen tells the paper that several players questioned the decision of the England captain, Joe Root, to bat first in the second test in Adelaide, which England lost.

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