What the papers say – December 5

The nation’s papers are led by the PM stepping in to take a direct role in Brexit negotiations.

The Guardian reports Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will now liaise directly with each other after the negotiating teams for each party were unable to reach an agreement.

The i weekend also leads on the trade talks coming “down to the wire”, with the FT Weekend reporting “significant divergences” remain.

The deadlock came after French president Emmanuel Macron “pressured” the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier into taking a tougher stance, according to the Daily Mail and The Times.

The Daily Telegraph says discussions were also hampered by a late request from Brussels for “unfettered access to British waters”.

Elsewhere, the Daily Express and The Sun lead with the return of Britons to pubs and shops following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The Daily Mirror reports celebrity landlords Tom Kerridge and Jodie Kidd have lent their voices to the paper’s campaign to give Covid tax breaks refunded by some supermarkets to struggling pubs.

And the Daily Star says police “called time” on drinkers using a scotch egg as a substantial meal in a series of raids on pubs.