Paper review: EU referendum 'hope' and 'no Trump visit'

The Guardian front page

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The Guardian says there is hope for a second EU referendum after former UKIP leader Nigel Farage made a “surprise call” for a fresh vote. The paper says the “most obvious” vote would be on whether to accept a deal Theresa May can negotiate with Brussels.

FT front page

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It’s chilly on the UK high street, according to the FT, after shops including M&S and Tesco reported weak Christmas sales and saw shares plummet. It says it is a sign of the “precarious state” of the consumer economy.

Daily Telegraph front page

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The government is to give banks a “secret list” of illegal migrants suspected of hiding in the UK, writes the Daily Telegraph. It says banks will be “ordered” to close their accounts in a bid to force people to leave the country.

i front page

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A&E doctors have warned the prime minister about “intolerable” conditions which they say are endangering lives, reports the i, with the headline: “Patients dying in hospital corridors”.

The Times front page

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Thousands more patients went to hospital with flu last week, writes the Times. It says cases rose 50% in the last seven days – prompting renewed calls for compulsory vaccinations for frontline NHS staff.

Daily Mail front page

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US President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned state visit to Britain, claims the Daily Mail. The paper reports he has pulled out of a £750m embassy opening amid fears he “won’t be made welcome”.

Daily Star front page

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Wrap up warm, the Daily Star tells readers, as it warns an “Arctic blast” is set to cause temperatures to plummet to -10C (14F) next week.

Daily Mirror front page

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The Mirror leads on Mr Farage’s “astonishing” call for a second EU referendum , pointing to its own poll which suggests 55% of people would vote for remain in a new vote.

Daily Express front page

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The Daily Express says Mr Farage told twitter followers that he feared a second EU referendum “may be forced upon us”.

The Sun front page

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The Sun claims Tory MP Peter Bone has left his wife – who he often referred to as “Mrs Bone” in Parliament – for another woman. Mr Bone told the newspaper he and his wife had been living apart for two years.

The Daily Mail has a scoop with its front-page lead that Donald Trump won’t be coming to London next month to open the new US embassy.

It reports that the president has “gone cold on the idea”, with Whitehall sources saying he cancelled because he was “unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit”.

The Mail says another source believed the “lack of ‘bells and whistles’ and royal involvement” had “discouraged him” from coming to the UK.

The paper’s editorial calls the cancellation a “diplomatic blow” but says Mr Trump’s “hysterical critics” have made him feel unwelcome.

If this episode damages the UK’s “strong alliance” with the US, the Mail warns, “it is they who take the blame”.

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The Times reports that flu cases have risen by 50% in the last week, with the Royal College of GPs saying the virus has really “taken off”.

The paper says that family doctors have seen twice as many people with flu-like symptoms compared with last year.

The Daily Mail says it’s the worst outbreak for seven years and GPs are “overwhelmed”, with patients “queuing out the door”.

The Daily Mirror reports that the chief medical officer for England believes it should be compulsory for NHS staff to have a flu jab, as four-in-five medics fail to get immunised.

‘Foolish’ Farage

Whether Nigel Farage wants a second EU referendum or not troubles the papers.

The i says he seemed to say so on TV on Thursday morning, before an apparent volte face.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the former UKIP leader – writing for their digital service – clarified his remarks, saying he didn’t want a second vote but that the best defence of the “referendum victory” was to be alive to having to do it again.

The Guardian reports that his initial remarks were seized upon by Remainers, with Labour’s Chuka Umunna saying Mr Farage had made “a valid point for the first time in his life”.

The Sun calls the comments “jaw-droppingly foolish”.

Mr Farage is wrong to think another Leave victory will silence “Europhile MPs”, the paper says, because they will never give up – as he never did.

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The Financial Times reports on concerns at the highest level about the contractor, Carillion.

The paper says senior ministers gathered on Thursday amid fears it’s close to collapse.

Another meeting is to be held on Friday, the FT adds, to discuss its pension scheme, which has a £590m deficit.

Unions are so concerned, reports The Times, that they want ministers to take over the firm’s public sector contracts, including the HS2 rail line.

The Mail says the government has plans in case Carillion goes bust.

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A Bath Oliver biscuit tin has been revealed as the place where gemstones from the Crown Jewels were hidden from the Nazis during World War Two.

The Times reports that while it had been thought they could have gone to Canada for safe-keeping, the jewels were actually buried underground at Windsor Castle.

The paper says the Queen wasn’t aware of the tin’s existence until she took part in a BBC programme about the Coronation.

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