Boris ‘behind bars’ photo paints gloomy Brexit picture
What the British papers say: ‘Summit’s got to give,’ says London’s Metro
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves from the rear of 10 Downing Street in central London on Wednesday night. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP
A photograph of Boris Johnson walking behind a metal fence, which gives the unfortunate impression that the British prime minster is behind bars, provided a visual metaphor too appealing for most publications as Johnson struggles to secure a withdrawal from the EU and, in particular, to satisfy the needs of the DUP.
The Telegraph quotes the British prime minister, who likened Brexit negotiations to the prison break movie Shawshank Redemption. Its headline is: “Brexit is like the Shawshank Redemption … but now we can see the light.”
Those who have seen the film will know that the lead character, incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, eventually escapes through a tunnel and then a sewer, eventually emerging covered in effluent to stand victorious in the rain. Exactly how closely Johnson was drawing the comparison is unclear.
The Guardian has: “Johnson in last-minute scramble for DUP backing”, saying Johnson was “in a race against time to secure the DUP’s backing for his newly negotiated Brexit deal”.
“With time short, Johnson told a meeting of Conservative MPs he was hopeful of a deal but it felt like he was on the Hillary Step of Everest, while the summit was ‘shrouded in mist’.”
The Express says Johnson “was last night edging closer to agreeing a Brexit deal” before “today’s crunch summit in Brussels”. The paper says he “appeared to be tantalisingly near” to finalising the deal after “desperately trying to convince his parliamentary allies”.
The Times says the “Brexit deal was “on knife edge” and Johnson’s “fate was in the hands of the DUP”, but sounds a note of optimism, saying that “confidence grows in Brussels despite setback”.
The Mail, always a fan of letting readers know exactly how long it has been since the Brexit referendum, says: “After 1,210 days of dithering, delay and doom, Boris says deal is ‘fingertip close’ – but DUP could still scupper it”.
Its headline – “In sight of the summit” – is a reference to another analogy made by Johnson, who said Brexit negotiations were like climbing Mount Everest and while the summit was close, it was surrounded by “cloud”.
The Metro also refers to the Everest metaphor, but goes with the excellent punny headline: “Summit’s got to give”.
The Mirror strives to communicate the precariousness of the deal, saying Brexit was “on a knife-edge”, that it was “hanging in the balance” and that the “last-ditch agreement” was close but still needed the support of the DUP.
The i’s splash is: “Deadlock on Brexit deal ahead of summit”. The paper says the “DUP and hardline Brexiteers threaten Johnson’s plans on eve of meeting with EU leaders in Brussels” as “Downing Street confirms Parliament’s Saturday sitting”.