What the papers say – December 19

Preparations for a no-deal Brexit dominate the front pages on Wednesday.

Theresa May is to start culling key Tory manifesto pledges after her Cabinet decided to accelerate planning for a no-deal scenario, The Times reports.

The Daily Telegraph leads on comments by former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who said businesses must be given tax breaks to help them weather a no-deal departure with the £39 billion Britain would no longer have to give the EU.

The Guardian says British business has warned MPs they risk plunging an ill-prepared economy into chaos unless they back Mrs May’s Brexit deal.

The Daily Mail brands it “no deal mayhem”, and reports that TV adverts and mail shots may be used to warn families of possible travel disruption while urging them not to stockpile food.

The i reports that Britain has moved to a “war footing” for a hard split from the EU, while the Metro says thousands of troops have been put on standby to provide emergency help.

Some Cabinet ministers have branded departing without an agreement a “unicorn” idea, the Independent says.

And the Financial Times reports that the PM infuriated Cabinet colleagues and business leaders by insisting on a post-Brexit plan to slash EU migration that is centred on tough visa restrictions on unskilled migrants from the bloc.

In other news, The Sun claims Ant McPartlin is due to return to work this week for the first time in nine months.

The Daily Express leads on warnings from campaigners that failure to persuade more people to reduce their salt intake is causing a national health tragedy.

And the Daily Mirror says some Tory MPs are receiving free TV licences while pensioners face losing theirs in a funding shake-up.

Elsewhere, the Daily Star says ministers revealed there was not enough salt stockpiled to grit frozen roads during the winter ahead.

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