‘Great Britain or Great Betrayal’: UK tabloid headlines attack MPs hours before critical Brexit vote

‘Great Britain or Great Betrayal’: UK tabloid headlines attack MPs hours before critical Brexit vote
If Brexit has been good for one thing it’s threatening newspaper front pages emblazoned with Union Jacks. Now, as MPs prepare for the next big EU referendum debate, Brexit-backing editors everywhere have gone into overdrive.

The Sun – whose tagline is ‘For a greater Britain’ – published a detailed collage of all things British. These ranged from Stonehenge, the Houses of Parliament, a double-decker bus, a football; right down to stranger additions like the make-believe Loch Ness monster, a random rollercoaster, and a seagull. The dog’s breakfast of Britishness is topped with the headline ‘Great Britain or Great Betrayal’ – taking not-so-subtle aim at the vote that will take place in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The front page was soon roundly mocked by the Twitterati, with some asking what on Earth motivated The Sun’s picture editors to include some of the more obscure landmarks. “I like how they ran out of iconic British landmarks and just though 'F**k it, we'll put on a roller coaster,'” one Twitter user observed. “I'm more worried by the giant Loch Ness monster,” another posted. “The cooling towers are an odd choice too.”

Another Twitter user took the time to break down the origin of each of the depicted parts, highlighting the hypocrisy in that the majority of the landmarks shown were foreign-made or fictional. The front-page mess also struck a chord with Labour MP Anna Turley who lashed out at the Sun for condemning Tuesday's vote and accused Murdoch of “bullying”.

The Daily Express headline, scrawled across a union jack, contained a clear threat to MPs: “Ignore the will of the people at your peril.” The left-wing Guardian columnist Owen Jones slammed the front page, branding it “dangerous,” while linking the rhetoric to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a “fascist terrorist” who shouted “Death to traitors” as he killed her.

Others pointed out just how long Brexit is actually taking to kick off. TV and comedy writer James Felton asked on Twitter: “Are we ever going to move onto the ‘actual f*****g details’ part of Brexit…” Others responded with tongue-in-cheek answers, explaining that mere details just aren’t the “will of the people.” Some simply pointed out the total voter count in the 2016 referendum “was barely half the population.”

The front pages come on the morning of Tuesday’s Brexit debate and vote – described by Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer as the “most important week of the Brexit process since the triggering of Article 50.”

The key moment will take place after 4pm local time, when the first set of votes go ahead. MPs will vote on the so-called ‘meaningful vote’ amendment, which could – if the government is defeated – effectively hand control of the Brexit process to parliament, with MPs then permitted to vote on the final Brexit deal. Brexiteers fear that, if this occurs, parliament could stop the Brexit process entirely.

Should the government lose, tomorrow’s tabloid front pages will be a sight to behold.

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