image captionThe possibility of a no-deal Brexit and the future shape of the United Kingdom feature on the front pages of several of the Sunday papers. According to Scotland on Sunday, historic precedents from the end of the British empire “may point to a more pragmatic approach from the UK government over demands for an independence referendum”.
image captionThe Sunday National has an interview with Scotland’s constitutional secretary Michael Russell. He tells the paper he is considering “plans A to Z” to ensure a second referendum will take place if a pro-independence majority is elected to Holyrood next May.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph’s splash reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a Brexit trade deal a “final throw of the dice” after his hour-long phone call with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday failed to break the deadlocked negotiations. Mr Johnson has told his Brexit negotiator Lord Frost to head to Brussels for 48 hours of “intensive” talks with Michel Barner, the EU’s chief negotiator, which the paper calls a “last-ditch bid” to secure a trade deal by 31 December.
image captionThe Sunday Express also leads on the “final throw of the dice” warning, as it reports that Britain and the EU have until Sunday night to reach a trade deal, or accept there will be no deal. The paper says the time frame was set by Mr Johnson during a “dramatic” phone call with Mrs von der Leyen.
image captionA senior No 10 source has told the Sunday Times that the chances of a Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU were now “‘no better than 50-50″ after more than four years and five months of talks”. The paper says that if no further progress is made, the prime minister’s team is talking about plans for him to announce no-deal in a televised address to the nation, in which he will place the blame on the EU and “French intransigence”. A row over how long it takes to process Covid tests for Scottish care home workers also makes the front page.
image captionThe Sunday Post leads with the “betrayal” of workers at the BiFab engineering plants in Fife and on Lewis after the company was put into administration. The paper says skilled workers are planning to leave Scotland to work abroad in the wake of the the yards’ failure to secure lucrative contracts for the offshore renewable energy industry. The Scottish government put more than £50m into a rescue package for BiFab three years ago but ministers say they can go no further towards full nationalisation.
image captionThe Herald on Sunday says concerns have been raised that flammable insulation material used in Grenfell Tower remains in place at Scotland’s flagship super-hospital. It comes three-and-a-half years after the blaze that claimed the lives of about 80 people in London. Following the Grenfell tragedy, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde insisted the Queen Elizabeth University in Glasgow was “one of the safest buildings in the UK in terms of fire engineering”. But the paper says it is thought the Kingspan Kooltherm K15 insulation which covers parts of the building has never been replaced.
image captionThe Queen is set to receive the coronavirus vaccine “within weeks” and will publicly reveal she has had it to boost take-up of the jab, according to the Mail on Sunday’s splash. The paper cites senior sources who insist the 94-year-old monarch and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, will not get “preferential treatment” and will “wait in line” during the first wave of injections set aside for the over-80s and care home residents. Public health experts are said to believe that if the royal couple reveal they have had the jab, it could help to combat misinformation, which it is feared, could lead to a “substantial proportion” of the population refusing a vaccine.
image captionThe Sunday Mail says Nicola Sturgeon is facing growing demands to take urgent action on Scotland’s “care home visiting scandal”. The Scottish government has amended care home visiting guidelines and promised more rapid testing for relatives. But the paper says fears remain that thousands of families will struggle to see loved ones at Christmas.
image captionThe Scottish Sun on Sunday has an interview with I’m a Celebrity runner-up Jordan North who tells the paper he threatened to quit the ITV show during a panic attack before the first trial — only to be talked down by host Declan Donnelly.