The difference 44 years make: how the UK press said goodbye to Europe

Chris Johnston
City workers mulling over newspapers reporting the Commons vote on Common Market entry on 29 October 1971. Photograph: Douglas Miller/Getty Images

The front pages of Britain’s newspapers do not often focus on the same topic, but then again Wednesday 29 March is no ordinary day.

This is how the Guardian’s print edition marked the triggering of article 50 – the process of leaving the EU after more than four decades.

The Daily Mail, however, uses the banner headline “Freedom” to apply to both Theresa May’s signing of article 50 – and the imminent release of Marine A from prison.

Staying with the tabloids, the Sun – still Britain’s highest-selling daily (just) – predictably goes for not one but two Brexit jokes.

Its more refined stablemate opts for a classier approach with the headline “The eyes of history are watching” nicely talking to the picture (of Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister, of course).

The broadsheet Telegraph uses a wider crop of the same image above May’s call for the country to unite behind Brexit.

The Financial Times plays it straight.

That picture once more graces the fronts of the Mirror and Metro.

The i goes for a cut-out-and-keep map of Europe.

Bringing up the rear of the pack is the Express.

And last – and quite possibly least – is the Star, which to be fair manages to ignore Brexit almost completely (save for the puff above Mel B’s head) – but does find room for a Teletubbies story.

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