For David Cameron, the only upside to such a late agreement on his deal is that news didn’t break in time for most of the first editions of the newspapers – do they cannot dump on him from quite such a height as they did last time (see picture at the bottom). But still, they’re pretty discouraging.
The Daily Mail is as unimpressed as ever. Its first edition led on 5,000 jihadis amongst EU immigrants: its later editions heaped further derision on Cameron’s deal.
Inside, its editorial is blistering.
“All that lost sleep, and for what?… Gone are his commitments to ‘full-on treaty change’, war on bureaucracy, sovereignty for Westminster… Mr Cameron and George Osborne have amused us enough with their risible charade. Let a fully informed people now decide.
It’s increasingly difficult to see how it can reconcile this approach with a recommendation that its readers actually vote to accept Cameron’s deal.
The Daily Telegraph has led with a picture of a tired-looking David Cameron. Its headline ‘Gove Out as EU agrees deal’ shows why the Justice Secretary’s decision has come at a bad time for the PM: it suggests momentum slipping away from him. Inside, Charles Moore asks: ‘Who is left to hail David Cameron’s puny gains as a Roman triumph?’ As one of the few columnists who has declared for out, Moore says the deal confirms his fears.
‘To the extent that the deal tells us anything, it reminds us of things which Leave, not Remain, likes to point out. The row about child benefit, for example, has told voters, who beforehand did not know, that the benefit is paid to foreign residents even if their children are back home in Poland (or wherever). Yet the deal does not reform this abuse.’
Whilst The Sun is not quite as dismissive as last time (‘Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Cameron?’) but its front cover is hardly an endorsement:
The Daily Express has got a bit ahead of itself and has decided that Gove will be leading, not merely joining, the ‘Out’ campaign:
The FT, which is pro-EU now just as it was once pro-single currency, plays it straight saying that Cameron has made compromises at the summit. The benefit of its small circulation means a later print time – in time for the deal. It hasn’t changed its cover for later editions.
And pity The Guardian. It’s probably the No1 Fleet St cheerleader for ‘in’ but that means it has to endorse David Cameron. The result is this rather halfhearted cover.
And, for comparison, the front pages when the draft deal was announced:-