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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
if you leave me now

Calling it: The British papers have come out on Brexit, and they're pretty divided

There have been contradictory positions taken between the Sunday and daily editions of the Times and the Mail.

WITH THE UK steamrolling towards Thursday’s vote on whether or not to remain in the EU, the country’s newspapers have been declaring their sides.

Britain’s right- and left-wing publications are taking a variety of positions, citing the pros and cons of staying in or leaving the union.

Rupert Murdoch-owned the Sun on Sunday, Britain’s most read Sunday, declared its support for a Brexit earlier this week in its daily edition.

Its editorial states a vote to leave would allow the country to free itself from “dictatorial Brussels”, describing the EU as ”increasingly greedy, wasteful, bullying and breathtakingly incompetent in a crisis”.

The Mail on Sunday, which boasts Britain’s second largest Sunday circulation, has taken the unexpected move of urging its readers to vote to remain – a contrary stance to its sister paper the Daily Mail.

mail on sunday Mail on Sunday Mail on Sunday

The Times in the UK and its Sunday edition have also taken contradictory positions.

In an editorial today, the Sunday edition of the paper has cited the possibility of a future EU army without a British veto as an issue.

On Friday the Times, one of the country’s most-read non-tabloids, came out in support of the remain campaign saying that it would be “the best outcome of next week’s referendum” and that it would be “a new alliance of sovereign EU nations dedicated to free trade and reform, led by Britain”.

Also on the right, the Sunday Telegraph has backed a vote to leave, saying that the campaign had “articulated an ambitious vision for Britain as an independent nation, once again free to make its own decisions”.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the Observer has today published an editorial backing the UK remaining in the EU.

In it they state that making the decision is important for “an international, liberal and open Britain” and call the EU an “idealistic undertaking, born out of a desire to never again see the continent racked by war”.

Newspapers in the UK have a tradition of declaring support during political campaigns.

In 2005 the Sun famously emitted red smoke from the chimney of its building in London, declaring its election allegiance to Labour in a stunt that mimicked the nomination process for the Pope.

Read: What will happen to the Irish border if there’s a Brexit?

Also: Husband of murdered MP: ‘We will fight against the hate that killed Jo’

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