‘Op­ti­mism and re­gret’: UK pa­pers re­joice, mourn Brexit Day

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

London, UK - Bri­tain’s par­ti­san pa­pers met Brexit with the same un­bri­dled joy and tear­ful an­guish that was felt across the streets of Bri­tain on Fri­day night.

‘Rise and shine... it’s a glo­ri­ous new Bri­tain’, the rightwing Daily Ex­press tabloid pro­claimed on the day the di­vided coun­try’s 47 year stay in the Euro­pean Union came to an end af­ter three de­lays.

‘Mus­cles with­out Brus­sels’, de­clared The Sun, a tabloid that cam­paigned tire­lessly for Brexit in the 2016 EU mem­ber­ship ref­er­en­dum, above a video of Prime Minister Boris John­son’s Brexit Day ad­dress.

‘It will be a bumpy road’, London's Stan­dard news­pa­per coun­tered over an im­age of the same John­son video mes­sage.

Bri­tain’s main tele­vi­sion chan­nels tried to re­flect the his­toric na­ture of a night de­layed by years of po­lit­i­cal wran­gling and in­de­ci­sion.

‘Farewell, au revoir, auf wieder­se­hen’, Sky News wrote in a break­ing news alert.

The BBC, a pub­li­cally-fi­nanced broad­caster that came un­der fire from Brexit crit­ics and sup­port­ers alike for its cov­er­age, played it straight, ‘Brexit: UK leaves the Euro­pean Union’.

‘Bri­tain fi­nally cuts EU ties,’ said the Fi­nan­cial Times.

But sev­eral news­pa­pers used the oc­ca­sion to re­flect on the in­tense pas­sions Brexit stirred up over the past three and a half years. The Guardian, a pa­per with strong left­ist tra­di­tions, also pon­dered the si­mul­ta­ne­ous ec­stasy and agony of the his­toric night.

‘The mixed emo­tions of Brexit day show the UK is not yet at ease with it­self,’ The Guardian wrote.

‘So for all John­son’s talk of heal­ing, there was no agree­ment be­tween leave and re­main at the mo­ment of part­ing - ex­cept on one thing. Both saw 11.00pm as chim­ing in an epochal shift in the his­tory of th­ese is­lands.’

‘What next?’ the i asked on its front page.

Some in Scot­land - where a ma­jor­ity voted to re­main in the EU - had an an­swer.

‘Iso­lated, worse off, weaker pa­per and di­vided’, said the EU-sup­port­ing Daily Record in a Fri­day head­line meant to look like an in­scrip­tion on a 50pence Brexit com­mem­o­ra­tion coin.

The one of­fi­cially is­sued by John­son’s gov­ern­ment reads ‘peace, pros­per­ity and friend­ship with all na­tions’.

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