Newspaper Round Up: 11th of September 2020

2020-09-11139
Daily Telegraph
Should the UK government refuse to back down over the Brexit row, it faces a lawsuit in the European Court of Justice and "potentially huge daily fines", the Daily Telegraph points out. Despite the furore, the UK and the EU have agreed to resume trade talks next week in Brussels - which the paper says has led to renewed speculation among MPs that the government's actions were an attempt to force concessions from the EU, rather than bring about a no-deal situation.
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail revels in the drama of what it calls a "cabinet at war" over the new coronavirus restrictions for England. It says a string of senior ministers opposed the ban on gatherings of seven or more people, which comes into effect from Monday. A cabinet source tells the paper that the so-called "rule of six" was opposed by every member of the PM's coronavirus strategy committee on Tuesday, apart from Health Secretary Matt Hancock - who, it says, drove the decision across the line.
Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror leads on a study which it says lays bare the hostilities between people who stuck to strict lockdown rules, and those who did not. It claims the nation has been "split" by coronavirus - even more so, it suggests, than it was by Brexit. The tabloid pictures a dejected-looking Boris Johnson with the caption: "Chaos."
Daily Star
And the Daily Star leads on a "revelatory" poll "sure to devastate tightwads". It has got its hands on a list of names of "stingy pubgoers" - that is, those who are supposedly most likely to shirk their turn to buy a round in the pub. "Are you on the list? See inside," the paper teases.
Daily Express
"Britain shall not be moved" reads the headline on the Daily Express, in support of the PM, who it says will "face down" the EU's threats to "pull the plug" on trade talks if the UK does not withdraw the Internal Markets Bill. Maros Šefčovič, the European Commission Vice-President, told Cabinet Minister Michael Gove that if the bill were to be adopted, it would constitute an "extremely serious violation" of international law. The Express brands his words as a "brazen" attempt at giving Mr Gove an "ultimatum".
i
The ultimatum has set up a "bitter EU divorce", the i says. It draws attention to the criticism Mr Johnson has faced from "veteran Brexiteers" Michael Howard and Norman Lamont. Lord Howard, a former Tory party leader and home secretary, said: ""How can we reproach Russia or China or Iran when their conduct falls below internationally accepted standards, when we are showing such scant regard for our treaty obligations?" The comments mark the growth of a "Tory revolt", the paper says.
Guardian
The Guardian says the UK "flatly rejected" that ultimatum within two hours of Mr Gove and Mr Šefčovič's meeting coming to an end. The latest round of talks are a sign of the "plunging prospects" that a trade deal can be reached, the paper claims. It runs quotes from Germany's ambassador to the UK, Andreas Michaelis, who tweeted: "In more than 30 years as a diplomat I have not experienced such a fast, intentional and profound deterioration of a negotiation."
Metro
Nicola Sturgeon's move to copy Boris Johnson's rule of six, but with children under 12 being exempt, has "piled the pressure" on the UK prime minister, the Metro reports. And MPs warning that England's "draconian" restrictions might be "worse than the disease itself" are another reason Mr Johnson is being called on to rethink his strategy. Some Tory MPs, the paper says, fear the PM will be seen as the "Grinch" if his rules are still in place for the festive season.