Newspaper headlines: A 'no-no' to no-deal and May's final warning
"It's a total no-no" says the Metro after MPs twice rejected the UK leaving the EU without a deal on Wednesday. MPs will now get a vote on delaying Brexit, said the prime minister. That vote will take place on Thursday, and if it is passed – and the EU agrees to it – the UK will not leave the EU as planned on 29 March.
But Theresa May will "attempt one final desperate roll of the dice on her Brexit deal", according to the Guardian. The PM's deal has been rejected twice by the House of Commons – but the paper says she will put it to MPs again next week in the hope that Tory rebels who are scared Brexit may not happen will decide to back it rather than risk remaining in the EU.
The Daily Mail focuses on the "chaos" of what it calls Wednesday's "mass revolt". Like the Guardian, the Mail says Mrs May is threatening Brexiteers with "losing Brexit altogether" if they don't back her deal next week.
"May issues ultimatum" reads the front page of the Financial Times. The PM has told MPs that if a Brexit deal does not pass through the Commons by the 21-22 March EU summit then she will be forced to seek a "much longer extension" to Article 50 than originally proposed. The paper says the UK would then have to take part in the European Parliament elections in May – a move that has "infuriated Tory Eurosceptics".
The Daily Telegraph says Brexit could be delayed "until further notice". It reports that a plot to delay Brexit by "up to two years" was under way on Wednesday night after Tory ministers Amber Rudd, David Gauke, Greg Clark and David Mundell did not vote with the government, therefore helping to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
"Meltdown" is the headline on the front page of the Daily Mirror, which reports that "13 rebel ministers" defied Mrs May in Wednesday's votes. The paper adds she has lost control of both Brexit and her party – leaving her leadership "in tatters".
The i leads with the same headline as the Daily Mirror, and reports there has been a "total collapse of discipline" in the Conservative Party. "Senior Tories", it adds, are warning that the government is "edging closer to breakdown" after Wednesday's votes.
The Times also leads with what it calls "Brexit meltdown", and says Mrs May's deal is now "back from the dead". The paper reports that Mrs May is holding "secret compromise talks with the DUP and Brexiteers" to see what it will take for them to back her deal next week.
The Daily Express says Mrs May has "challenged MPs to cave in and accept her revamped Brexit deal" after they voted to reject a no-deal exit. "Don't let EU bullies win the day", says its headline.
Wednesday's Brexit news also features on the front page of the Sun – but the paper's lead story relates to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007. The paper says a new documentary, set to be released on Netflix, will suggest Madeleine was taken by people traffickers.
Former Arsenal and England midfielder Paul Merson "has gone back to Alcoholics Anonymous", reports the Daily Star. The paper says Merson recognised he still had "addiction issues" after appearing on a recent TV show that challenged former footballers to reflect upon their lifestyles.
"Brexit Meltdown" is
how the Times describes last night's extraordinary scenes in Westminster.
For the Daily Mail, "chaos reigns".
The Sun talks of carnage in the voting lobbies, with Tory MPs
seen breaking down in tears.
The Mail says Theresa May's authority has been left in tatters – with none of those ministers who rebelled to vote to rule out a no-deal Brexit expected to be sacked.
The sketch writers express bewilderment.
Tom Peck – for the Independent – says the
"extravagantly complex" twists and turns in last night's voting was "never-to-be-surpassed lunacy", like Benny Hill on acid in the Commons.
The Guardian's John Crace says Westminster descended into near anarchy – with every man and woman for themselves.
The Daily Telegraph says that with the Conservative Party on the brink of open warfare, the chancellor used
his spring statement to set out an alternative Brexit plan.
The paper adds that by calling for a deal that MPs can "collectively support", Phillip Hammond was signalling he no longer backs the PM's withdrawal deal, and instead wants a compromise with Labour.
The Huffington Post website sees this as a demand for Mrs May to back a customs union with the EU – the only position Labour will support.
A "soft Brexit bribe" is the Daily Mail's more blunt description.
Financial Times praises the chancellor's position – saying Mrs May and cabinet Brexiteers must break out of their tunnel vision, that it's the PM's deal or nothing.
EU leaders are reported by the website Politico
to be "bracing themselves" for a request from the UK to extend the Brexit process. But it says they're under no obligation to accept it and could well respond with their own terms.
The Telegraph says Brussels plans to "play hardball" by demanding a long extension.
A senior EU official tells the paper that a short delay would only pre-program a no-deal Brexit for the summer.
Bloomberg quotes Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, who asks: "Why do you need a prolongation? Is it for organising a new referendum?"
Away from Brexit, the Sun's front page carries a claim, made in a new Netflix documentary, that
Madeleine McCann may be still alive, 12 years on from her disappearance in Portugal aged three.
In the film, child abduction experts reportedly argue she may have been kept alive by a people trafficking gang for financial reasons.
The Daily Mirror reports that her parents Kate and Gerry McCann have distanced themselves from film – which is released tomorrow – and says their lawyers will be monitoring it carefully.
Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning
The Times is among the papers to pick up on archaeological findings, showing that not only was Stonehenge an astounding feat of pre-historical engineering – but also an excuse to throw the biggest party the British Isles had ever seen.
Tens of thousands of pig bones reportedly accumulated at nearby Durrington in just a 50-year period, according to the findings, showing that Neolithic Britons feasted on pork while the construction project was under way.
The Sun says revellers travelled from hundreds of miles around, to party like it was 1999 BC.