Today the UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, will deliver Prime Minister May’s letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission. Article 50 will officially be triggered, and the UK will begin its journey out of the European Union.
The British newspapers reacted to this news in vastly different ways.
Some, like the Daily Mail, are joyful and lead their coverage with a single word: “Freedom”.
The Daily Express, which was among the publications asking reader to vote ‘Leave’ last June, leads with May’s “no-nonsense message to Brussels”.
The Sun, again a pro-Brexit paper, feature a clear message embossed on the famous white cliffs of Dover.
The Daily Mirror joins the Express in focusing on the letter, signed by May last night.
i, the short form print version of the now online only Independent run a full page satellite image of Europe, with a cut-out dotted line around the UK and Northern Ireland.
City AM, London’s free business-focused newspaper features a collage of its own front pages, charting the journey from David Cameron’s hope of a re-negotiated EU deal, to the stand-off between Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon and May over post-Brexit Scotland.
The Financial Times is one of the only papers to focus on the “compromise” which will surely be needed during the upcoming negotiations.
The Times leads with a full page image of Theresa May signing her letter to Tusk, underneath a portrait of the UK’s first Prime Minster Sir Robert Walpole. The inference is that her signature will change the course of Britain’s future.
The Daily Telegraph urges unity, and also features May and Walpole, alongside a declaration of May’s “determination” to come back from Brussels with a good deal “for every single person” in the UK.
Last but not least, The Guardian have created a jigsaw out of the map of western Europe, with only the UK (and two counties of Ireland, as commenters have already pointed out) missing, with the headline “Britain steps into the unknown” in its place.
The German daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine simply notes “Divorce hurts”, with a picture of sunrise over Westminster and Winston Churchill’s statue.
“Divorce hurts”: Germany's
faznet</a> front page as UK prepares to trigger <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Article50?src=hash">#Article50</a> <a href="https://t.co/uLtIseq9oI">pic.twitter.com/uLtIseq9oI</a></p>— Kate Brady (kbrady90) March 29, 2017
Also in Germany, Die Welt tell Brits: “the door is still open”, in German-accented English.
Front page of today's Die Welt newspaper. Who says Germans don't have a sense of humour? #BrexitDay (ht
mullitom</a>) <a href="https://t.co/IhEgJbIqrw">pic.twitter.com/IhEgJbIqrw</a></p>— Alistair Coleman (alistaircoleman) March 29, 2017
In France, Liberation show the famous image of a furry-helmeted Buckingham Palace guard, with the headline “We miss you already! Or do we…”
In Spain, El Pais uses the same picture of May as features heavily in the UK press, above an article declaring that the Brexit process “will mark the future of Europe”.
Ouch – Liberation's front page tomorrow:— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) March 28, 2017
'We miss you already!
or do we…' pic.twitter.com/awLAOhvHLB
Unlike the Italian press, El Pais has Brexit front and centre pic.twitter.com/u28j65kUFV— Patrick Atack (@patricvk) March 29, 2017