The Papers: May and Macron’s Brexit talks as summit looms | - South Africa News

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Image caption A photograph of Theresa May greeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris adorns several front pages, after the PM met him for Brexit talks on Tuesday. “Sealed with a kiss” is the headline for the Daily Telegraph. The paper says EU leaders feel Mrs May’s plan for an extension until 30 June is too much of a “risk” – but they are poised to offer a delay of up to a year. But the paper adds that, if a long delay is agreed, Mrs May will face immediate calls for her to quit.
Image caption Also splashing with the photo of Mrs May and Mr Macron, the Metro says the French leader is pushing for a long Brexit delay until December, despite the UK’s wish for an extension until the end of June. Mr Macron is expected to demand some added conditions, the paper adds – including that the UK will be excluded from EU decision-making during the delay, in case a Brexiteer PM takes over.
Image caption The Times says Mr Macron – who supports imposing conditions on the UK to ensure “good behaviour” if there is a delay – has been warned by European Council President Donald Tusk not to humiliate Mrs May. Mr Tusk called on EU leaders to treat the UK with respect to avoid poisoning future relations, the paper says.
Image caption The Guardian also focuses on comments from Mr Tusk. It reports that Mrs May’s request for a short Brexit postponement has been “torn up” after Mr Tusk used a letter to EU leaders to “pick apart” the UK’s plea. Any delay agreed by the EU is more likely to last until next March, the paper says.
Image caption Like many others, the i newspaper is similarly doubtful about Mrs May’s chances of securing the shorter Brexit delay that she wants. Alongside a photo of Mrs May and Germany’s Angela Merkel in what appears to be animated discussions, the paper says EU leaders are likely to back an extension of up to a year at the summit. Meanwhile, a separate headline dubs Mr Macron “Europe’s bad cop”.
Image caption Under the headline “Another year in limbo” (with the word “year” underlined for added effect), the Daily Mail describes the prospect of such a delay to Brexit as “humiliating”. It also quotes the EU’s Mr Tusk, saying he wants a long delay to “allow the UK to rethink its Brexit strategy”. But Mr Tusk said the withdrawal deal will not be unpicked under any circumstances, the paper adds – even if a new Conservative leader is elected. The paper reports that government sources say Mrs May is “now resigned to a longer period if EU leaders demanded it”.
Image caption The Brexit-supporting Daily Express’s headline – “Will we ever escape EU clutches?” – is similarly despairing in its tone. The accompanying front-page story says some Conservative MPs were furious at the expected “lengthy” delay to Brexit. The paper quotes Brexiteer backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg as saying: “This shows that the EU has no interest in democracy and expects voters to be cowed into obedience.”
Image caption The Daily Mirror leads with its own investigation into the profits that MPs have made from selling their homes – property on which they had claimed expenses to help with their mortgage repayments. The paper says that 160 MPs have made £42m profit selling houses that were part-funded by the taxpayer. Included among the MPs named is Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The paper says he did not respond to a request for comment. Under current rules, if MPs sell the house, they are allowed to keep the gains.
Image caption Former minister Boris Johnson makes the front page of Wednesday’s Sun newspaper – but through nothing of his own doing. The newspaper has interviewed TV presenter and musician Fuzz Townshend – who hosts programme Car SOS – who has claimed he “pranked” Mr Johnson by once dipping his penis in the politician’s pint. Mr Townshend claims that he was invited to the pub by mutual friends of Mr Johnson’s and had bought a round of drinks before taking one into the toilet.
Image caption Instead of Brexit, Wednesday’s Daily Star is focusing on “brekkie-xit”. The paper says the UK’s bacon sandwiches are “under threat”, claiming “China snaps up all our pigs”. It says the price of pork has risen 38% in a month – and experts worry that panic-buying could lead to further shortages.
Image caption The main story for the Financial Times is on Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant. According to the paper, the company is attracting lots of financial interest, showing investors are not put off from doing business with the country despite last year’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The killing caused a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and some of its closest allies, including the US. Saudi officials strongly deny any involvement in his death.

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