The Papers: 'Irish eyes are smiling' after Brexit talks


Newspaper headlines: ‘Irish eyes are smiling’ after Brexit talks


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“Irish eyes are smiling” is the headline on the front page of the Metro, which says hopes of a Brexit deal have been “revived” after a two-and-a-half hour meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish leader Leo Varadkar at Thornton Manor in England. Mr Varadkar said after the talks that, with three weeks to go until the Brexit deadline, both men could see “a pathway towards a possible deal”.

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“Dare we dream of a deal?” asks the Daily Mail. The paper says Mr Varadkar has “long been seen as the roadblock to an agreement”, but now believes one is in sight. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, the Mail adds, will have breakfast with the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Friday.

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The Daily Telegraph also focuses on Brexit, reporting quotes from Taoiseach Varadkar, who says a deal can be reached by the 31 October deadline. The paper adds it has been told by a source that Mr Barnier will now “assess whether enough progress had been made to justify the EU intensifying negotiations ahead of the EU summit next week”.

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The Financial Times reports there has been a “big shift in sentiment” on Brexit, adding it has heard from a “senior EU diplomat” that the talks between Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar included a “new and substantially different offer from Mr Johnson on customs cooperation after Brexit”.

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The Brexit talks also make the front page of the Guardian. The paper points out, however, that even this surprising breakthrough between Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar should be treated with caution. It quotes the Irish leader as saying there could be “many a slip between cup and lip”.

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The i, on the other hand, focuses on the “burst of optimism” that has followed the talks. Underlining the importance of a Brexit deal, the paper reports that Sunderland’s Nissan factory “faces closure” if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

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The Times says Britain and Ireland are on a “pathway to agreement” – adding the PM could “secure a Brexit deal as early as next week”. It describes the new mood around negotiations as “unexpectedly upbeat”.

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Mr Johnson may have “only gone and done it”, suggests the Daily Express. In what it describes as a “Brexit breakthrough”, the paper says the leaders now see an end to the “deadlock”.

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Away from Brexit, the Sun leads on what it calls Rebekah Vardy’s “wagony” over allegations she has been selling stories about Coleen Rooney to the Sun. On Wednesday, Coleen – wife of former Man United captain Wayne – said she had “evidence” that Rebekah – wife of Leicester City striker Jamie – was supplying the tabloid with information from her private Instagram account.

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“Tears for my Brave Rod” is the Daily Mirror’s front page headline. The paper’s lead story focuses on quotes from Penny Lancaster, who says her husband Sir Rod Stewart’s prostate cancer “turned out to be worse than first feared”. It was recently revealed Sir Rod spent more than two years undergoing treatment for the disease before being given the all-clear.

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And finally, the Daily Star reports that aliens “do exist”. Leading with its “UFO spy shocker”, the paper quotes former head of MI6 Sir John Sawers as saying it would be “extraordinary if they did not” exist.

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