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What the papers say: The Brexit cynicism is getting predictable

‘Here we go again’, says the Sun, which criticises the ‘chorus of doom-mongers’ who pop up whenever the government proposes a ‘sensible, serious suggestion for moving towards Brexit’. On Tuesday, this reaction was sparked by details setting out plans for a customs union after Brexit. Now, a fresh wave of cynicism has greeted the idea of a ‘frictionless’ border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. “It can’t be done,” they groan,’ says the Sun – expect, according to the paper, it already is. Take the border between Norway and Sweden, for example, which has ‘almost exactly the same arrangement that is being proposed for Ireland’. It’s true there’s a risk of opening up a ‘back door’ into Britain. ‘But if we are willing to run that risk, there’s every reason for the Irish to welcome a set-up that will be a huge boon to the Republic,’ concludes the Sun.

The Sun also says it’s a ‘great shame’ that Sarah Champion has resigned from the shadow cabinet following the publication of an authored piece she wrote on grooming gangs. When the Labour MP said ‘there is a real problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls’, she was right, the paper argues. ‘But in some quarters it is still forbidden to talk about such things — and one such place is the Labour Party,’ the Sun says. This whole messy business proves ‘the point she was making last week’, according to the Sun, which says ‘until we face up to reality, we stand no chance of dealing with the appalling exploitation of white girls’.


In the Guardian, it’s Donald Trump who comes in for criticism, with the president’s suggestion that both sides were to blame for the violence in Virginia provoking a sharp response in the paper’s editorial. ‘Mr Trump must now face the consequences’ of his words, according to the paper, which says it’s time ‘the leaders of multiracial European nations, including Britain’ now change the way they deal with Trump. After all, given that the president is ‘so embarrassingly incapable’ of displaying any ‘moral clarity’ himself, it’s time for the rest of the world to step up. ‘There is a right side and a wrong side,’ and it’s down to others to call out those in the wrong, argues the paper. ‘British leaders responded well to Mr Trump’s remarks’, according to the Guardian – which offers rare praise for the Prime Minister, as well as Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable for their reaction to the president’s words. ‘Words, though, are not enough’ – and it’s time for the ‘special courtesies’ to end – and that includes a state visit, concludes the paper.

Before Theresa May waded into the debate surrounding Donald Trump’s words, she also spoke out against the silencing of Big Ben for four years. ‘It can’t be right’, said the PM. She wasn’t alone in voicing her opinion on the issue: ‘Other ministers have chimed in’ too. But the politicians need to change their tune, says the Times, which suggests that given how costly the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster will be, adding the extra expense of ensuring the bell rings out during maintenance work can’t be justified. Perhaps instead of relying on the clock,it’s time for ‘MPs to invest in a watch or set the alarm on their phones’ , suggests the Times. And for those mourning the silencing of the great clock, it might be better to spend time ‘debating the future’ rather than indulging in nostalgia.


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