Newspaper headlines: 30 days to do a deal and HS2 'heading for buffers'

i front page 22/08/19

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Several of the front pages lead on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s suggestion that an alternative to the Irish backstop plan could be found within 30 days. Mr Johnson has called for the backstop – which aims to avoid a return to physical checks at the Irish border – to be removed from any Brexit deal. The i says the meeting has raised hopes the EU could renegotiate but it predicts a “cooler reception” in France, where Mr Johnson is meeting President Emmanuel Macron later.

Telegraph front page 22/08/19

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Mr Johnson has welcomed Mrs Merkel’s “blistering” timetable and said the onus was on the UK to find a solution to the border issue, the Telegraph reports. The paper says Mrs Merkel’s comments were seen as a “victory” for the prime minister and the prospect of reaching a deal could also help him fend off Tory rebels if Jeremy Corbyn calls a no-confidence vote in his government.

Express front page 22/08/19

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The Express sees Mrs Merkel’s proposal as a “major concession” and an “unexpectedly warm offer of help”. It suggests the deadline could mean finally finding a solution to the “Brexit chaos”.

Daily Mirror front page 22/08/19

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Mrs Merkel has called the prime minister’s bluff, according to the Daily Mirror. It describes Mr Johnson as “stunned” in his reaction to the German chancellor’s demand that the UK must find a realistic alternative to the backstop.

Guardian front page 22/08/19

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The Guardian highlights that Mrs Merkel has now put “the responsibility for the UK crashing out of the EU firmly at the prime minister’s door”. The paper says her “tentative olive branch” was set against a background of “pessimism” in France, with officials warning a no-deal Brexit was now the most likely outcome.

The Times front page 22/08/19

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The Times also predicts that France will adopt a harsher position than Mrs Merkel. President Macron has warned a no-deal Brexit would be of Britain’s own making and a trade deal with the US would represent a “historic vassalisation” of the UK, the paper reports.

Daily Mail front page 22/08/19

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The Daily Mail is more optimistic, declaring in its headline: “Can we do it? Ja, we can!” The paper describes the developments as a “Brexit boost” for Mr Johnson, who it says has “immediately accepted” Mrs Merkel’s challenge.

Metro front page 22/08/19

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The Metro leads on news that the government is launching a review of the £56bn HS2 rail project, warning it could be “heading for the buffers”. At least £7.4bn has already been spent on Britain’s biggest infrastructure project – but the review will consider whether it should be cut back or even continue at all, the paper reports.

Financial Times front page 22/08/19

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The cost of servicing the debt of developed countries has sunk to its lowest level for more than four decades, the Financial Times reports. The paper says the sharp decline is putting pressure on governments to borrow and spend more in order to jump-start the flagging global economy.

Daily Star front page 22/08/19

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The Daily Star has a more unusual Brexit story on its front page, reporting that football pundit Ian Holloway has blamed Brussels for the sport’s new handball rules. The ex-Blackpool manager claimed the controversial rule change had been forced on the UK by the EU, the paper says.

Sun front page 22/08/19

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The Sun has a story about a tan addict who was refused a £70,000 loan after mortgage brokers discovered his £500-a-month obsession. Karl Dinis, 37, has spoken on TV about how he injects illegal tanning drugs and lenders found out by searching his name online, the paper reports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s challenge to Boris Johnson to come up with an alternative solution to the Irish border issue within 30 days dominates the front pages.

The Daily Express calls it “a major concession; The Sun an “opportunity.”

The Daily Telegraph says it is being seen as “a victory” for Mr Johnson that could help him “fend off Tory rebels” opposed to a no-deal Brexit.

The Daily Mail welcomes what it calls “signs” that the prime minister could be “on the brink of a triumphant breakthrough”.

But the Daily Mirror describes it as an “ultimatum” and says if Mr Johnson falls on his face it would serve him right for over-promising.

The Times focuses on what it calls the expected “harsher” position of President Emmanuel Macron. The paper says the French leader warned that a no-deal Brexit would be of Britain’s own making and questioned whether the cost of such an exit could be offset by a trade deal with the US.

The Financial Times quotes the head of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, who says Mr Johnson had taken the trip only to show UK voters he had tried everything, so he could then blame EU intransigence.

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Mr Johnson met the German chancellor in Berlin on Wednesday

The Times reports that the prime minister’s senior aide, Dominic Cummings, called HS2 a “disaster zone,” days before it was announced the rail project was to be reviewed.

The paper’s editorial says cancelling the project “could be an easy win”, given opposition to the scheme among Conservatives but cautions that there is a case for spending on infrastructure.

The Financial Times reveals that experts from within the rail industry doubt the plans will be scrapped but rather tweaked to place more focus on efforts to improve links to northern cities.

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There is a warning in the Telegraph that nearly two million pensioners are being put at risk after being prescribed lethal cocktails of drugs. The paper says it is causing a rise in emergency hospital admissions.

According to the Express one-in-50 cases recently have proved fatal.

The Royal College of GPs explains in the Mail that many older people live with multiple and complex conditions.

The Mirror and the Times warn that sitting down for more than nine hours a day increases your risk of dying early.

The Mail and the Guardian advise, after examining the same study from Norway, that dusting or washing the dishes can add years to your life.

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More than 700,000 pupils are receiving their GCSE results on Thursday

As teenagers wait to find out their GCSE results, the i says head teachers fear they could lose their jobs if performances are poor.

Pupils face having to get higher grades to get into state sixth forms, according to the Times.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson reveals in the Telegraph that his top priority is to help teachers tackle poor behaviour in schools.

The paper says staff will be given training to make them tougher with unruly children.

A man who likes to spend £500 a month on tanning treatments tells the Sun that his habit cost him a mortgage.

Karl Dinis believes his lender rejected his application after finding out about his tanning injections through an online search – a suggestion rejected by the mortgage provider.

Mr Dinis – dubbed Desperate Tan by the Sun – complains that it is discrimination.

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