What the papers say – January 31

Not surprisingly, on the last day of Britain’s membership of the EU, Brexit dominates the nation’s front pages on Friday.

The Daily Telegraph adopts a jubilant tone, with a picture of Boris Johnson under a Churchillian headline of “This is not an end, but a beginning”.

The Daily Mail hails it as a “new dawn for Britain”, The Sun says the nation’s course will change for the better, and the Daily Express is also euphoric.

The Times looks at business, leading on Mr Johnson’s desire for a “Canada-style” trade pact with Brussels.

The Independent carries the word for “goodbye” in a multitude of European languages, but ponders whether it is “inevitable” Britain will one day rejoin the EU.

Metro opts for a simple “Thank EU and goodbye”, while the i calls it the UK’s “leap into the unknown”.

And The Guardian strikes a distinctly downbeat tone, with a headline of “Small Island” over a story about “the biggest gamble in a generation”.

And the Financial Times plays it straight and perhaps sums all other papers up with a headline: “Britain bows out of the EU with a mixture of optimism and regret”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror leads with the coronavirus and the evacuation flight taking Britons from Wuhan.

And the Daily Star‘s front page heralds a “truly historic” day for Britain – the end of Dry January.

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