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The Papers: The Queen’s pride and a new special relationship?

The Papers: The Queen's pride and a new special relationship? thumbnail

By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration1 hour agoimage captionThe Daily Mirror leads on the Queen’s Christmas Day address to the nation, hailing her “powerful words of comfort as she tells virus-hit Brits you’re not alone”.image caption”Hug majesty” is the headline on the front page of the Sun. It says the Queen’s Christmas message “warmed the hearts of Covid-weary…

By BBC News
Staff

Published

image captionThe Daily Mirror leads on the Queen’s Christmas Day address to the nation, hailing her “powerful words of comfort as she tells virus-hit Brits you’re not alone”.
image caption“Hug majesty” is the headline on the front page of the Sun. It says the Queen’s Christmas message “warmed the hearts of Covid-weary Brits”.
image captionThe Daily Express leads on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s belief that the UK’s post-Brexit agreement with the EU will usher in a new “new beginning” for the country. The paper says economists have “heralded an economic golden era for the UK as it shakes off European Union controls”.
image captionThe Brexit trade agreement will allow the UK and the EU to form a new “special relationship”, Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove has written in the Times. He says the deal is a “fresh start” after years of “ugly politics” following the Brexit vote.
image captionThe Daily Mail also offers an optimistic front page, saying experts are predicting the UK’s economy will “bounce back” in 2021 now the Brexit deal has been agreed. It says the agreement with Brussels will serve as a springboard towards a “bright future”.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph also leads on the Brexit agreement. It says Mr Johnson has urged hardline Conservative Eurosceptics to back the deal “in a bid to head off any potential rebellion” from backbenchers in his party.
image captionThe Guardian’s lead story says British scientists are working on a new treatment that could prevent someone who has been exposed to coronavirus going on to develop the disease. It says the new trials “bring hope in the fight against Covid”.
image captionThe Daily Star warns 70mph winds are set to sweep across parts of Britain on Boxing Day. Referencing the name of the storm – the second named storm of the 2020-21 winter – its headline reads: “Bella to batter Britain”.

Boris Johnson has appealed directly to Conservative Brexiteers – urging them to put the public interest first as they consider the trade agreement with the EU, says the Daily Telegraph.

In a WhatsApp message to Tory MPs, the prime minister reportedly acknowledges that the “devil is in the detail” – but says he’s confident the deal will stand up to scrutiny. But the Telegraph says several senior MPs have expressed dismay at the lack of time available to go through the 1,246-page document, saying they’re in effect being asked to vote it through on faith.

The paper notes that any revolt would be only symbolic, as the deal has the support of Labour.

The Times leads on Michael Gove’s article for the paper, in which he says the EU trade deal will bring an end to the ugly and rancorous politics of the past few years. Mr Gove admits to making mistakes and misjudgements, causing friendships to crumble.

But he says there are “hopeful signs” that those at the hardest ends of the argument are “beating their polemical swords into ploughshares” and moving politics to a better place.

There’s a strong dose of optimism from the Daily Mail, as it welcomes the EU trade agreement with the headline: “Get ready for blast-off, Britain!”

Experts are quoted saying the economy will “bounce back” in 2021, helped by the agreement. It’s among several paper to cite a study, estimating that by 2035 the UK’s output will be 23% higher than that of France. The Daily Express is similarly buoyant, telling its readers the UK is set to emerge as a leading economic powerhouse.

The papers are full of praise for the Queen’s Christmas speech.

The Sun says she warmed the hearts of Covid-weary Brits, when she said all that many people wanted was a hug or a squeeze of the hand. The paper says the annual broadcast has been hailed by many as the Queen’s strongest.

The Daily Mirror says it was a “message of hope” with “powerful words of comfort”. The Times is especially struck by what it says is her embrace of diversity.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports the Church of England has been plunged into a crisis and is considering sweeping reforms because of losses incurred during lockdown.

Highly-placed sources tell the paper the Church could be facing a shortfall of £150m in donations alone from lockdown, when collection plates went unused and fees for weddings, funerals and christenings dried up.

It’s said to be considering reducing the number of bishops from more than 100 to as few as 10 and redrawing parish boundaries to reduce their number by more than a quarter – possibly resulting in some churches closing.

A Church spokesman tells the Mail it’s too early to calculate the overall losses.

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