Theresa May is feeling the pressure from all directions in her bid to win over MPs to her Brexit deal, if Monday’s front pages have it right.
And the Independent’s headline nicely sums things up as: “Parliament versus Downing Street.”
If the headlines offer little to cheer the PM, the Sun’s inside pages make equally grim reading for any fatigued readers who might have been hoping the whole saga would soon be over.
The paper suggests the Commons vote – scheduled for next Tuesday – could be delayed, reporting that government whips have discussed seeking further concessions from the EU before putting the deal to MPs.
The move would see the PM return from Brussels, either with changes to win over Brexit rebels or with “final proof” that she had tried her best, the paper says. However, No 10 insists it still plans to hold the vote next week.
The Daily Telegraph claims to have seen a leaked letter in which Mrs May’s chief Brexit adviser, Olly Robins, warns her that the proposed customs backstop would be a “bad outcome” for the UK. It says he also warned there was no legal guarantee the UK could get out of the arrangement, leaving Britain trapped.
The Conservative Brexiteer, Priti Patel, tells the paper that when “even the architect of the Brexit deal” appears to be saying it’s a bad agreement, colleagues should seriously question how they can vote for it.
For the Times, the exceptional circumstances of Brexit mean the full details should be published.
“It is vital”, says the paper, that when MPs vote on the Brexit deal “they take such a momentous decision in full possession of all the facts”.
Some papers look ahead to future votes which could follow any Commons defeat.
The Times says the DUP is considering abandoning Mrs May if there is a confidence vote against her. A party source tells the paper that the arrangement by which it supports the Tories does not bind the DUP to vote with the PM.
The Daily Mail accuses Labour of being “cynical”, saying the party’s plan for a confidence vote reveals their only true aim is to bring down the government.
Meanwhile, the Guardian says Mrs May will continue her “charm offensive” to sell the deal by holding dozens of meetings with Tory MPs on Monday.
A number of the papers lead with campaigns today, with the Daily Mirror launching a call to help feed hungry children using food banks this Christmas.
The online Independent pictures its owner, Evgeny Lebedev, with Sir Elton John taking HIV tests. The paper says it hopes to “build a world without AIDS”.
For its part, the Mail says more than 7,000 readers have “done it proud” by answering the call for volunteers to help the NHS. The paper says they have pledged 420,000 hours of “priceless support”, carrying out non-medical tasks ranging from ferrying patients to appointments to befriending those without visitors.
The paper adds that Theresa May, singer Sir Tom Jones, and the head of the Royal College of Nursing have given the campaign their backing.
A ‘fed’ horse?
Finally, the Times highlights the predictions of a researcher from Swansea University, who believes references to meat and animal cruelty will become less common in the English language, as awareness of vegan issues grows.
The paper says phrases such as “bring home the bacon” and “letting the cat out of the bag” have peppered the way we speak for centuries.
But the academic favours harm-free verbal alternatives; for example, the phrase “flogging a dead horse” could become “feeding a fed horse”, reports the Mail. “More than one way to peel a potato” could replace “more than one way to skin a cat”, it adds.