On day of reckoning in House of Commons, newspapers stick to their guns


With a rare Saturday sitting of Parliament, Britain may today to be voted out of the European Union.

Given it is 1,213 days since the Brexit referendum and tensions are running high on both sides of the debate, it is not surprising newspapers are full of advice on what should happen in the House of Commons.

The Guardian gets straight to the point in its lead editorial’s headline: “Johnson’s deal is made from broken promises. MPs should reject it.”

The paper, which backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, ends its plea to MPs to vote no to the deal agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU by saying: “Brexit is a choice that will reverberate for generations. It requires informed consent from those who must live with the consequences.

“If leavers are so confident that their project still meets the test of public support they should not be afraid to present it for ratification at the ballot box. It is time the people themselves were included in the decision.”

In the Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel writes in an opinion column that Mr Johnson “has achieved what almost every commentator in the land and on the continent said was impossible”.

She writes that given how much the prime minister has achieved in 85 days, “just imagine what we could achieve in the next few years if we get Brexit done”.

She adds that MPs from all political parties should vote for the deal and says “remainers and leavers are singing from the same hymn sheet for the first time in many months”.

In The Sun, which has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Britain leaving the EU, Mr Johnson writes in an open letter to readers that voting to leave would allow politicians to focus on other matters.

“MPs would be freed up to deliver on your priorities – the things that can change your daily lives for the better.

“Getting money to the NHS frontline. Investing in our schools and driving up standards. Building more houses. Massively boosting infrastructure.”

The Daily Mirror begs to differ. In its editorial, it says Mr Johnson’s deal “will hit people in their pockets, put jobs at risk and leave the NHS vulnerable to US corporate giants.

“Hard-won workers’ rights, such as paid holidays and equal pay for part-time staff, could be swept aside.”

The Times, in its leading article, makes reference to the policy paralysis in British politics. “Parliament has been unable to agree on any course of action for three years,” it says. “It should take the opportunity today to move forward to prevent the onset of chaos.”

The paper ends the editorial by saying: “On behalf of a bored and disillusioned country, increasingly angry with Westminster, MPs should back the deal.”