Several right wing newspapers struck a celebratory tone this morning as the UK and EU move close to signing a last minute trade deal.
The Daily Mail ran with “Hallelujah! It’s a merry Brexmas” while the Daily Express captured Boris Johnson in a Churchillian pose, splashing “The Deal is Done”.
But it was The Sun that took the biscuit, depicting the PM in a Santa suit as he dropped a precious trade deal down the chimney.
Owen Jones described it as propaganda “that would make tinpot dictatorships blush”, while Ian Dunt accused the paper’s political editor, Harry Cole of working as a “PR agent for the prime minister”.
DEAL! Britain on brink of inking historic zero tariff, zero quota trade deal with Brussels – ending years of bitter Brexit war— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) December 23, 2020
🇬🇧 Personal triumph for a PM that won vowing to "get Brexit done"
🇬🇧 UK will finally cut ties with EU red tape and meddlesome judges as promised in 2016 pic.twitter.com/U9mSFjkVxN
The UK and European Union were on the threshold of striking a post-Brexit trade deal last night, with an announcement expected on Christmas Eve.
Progress was made on resolving issues including fishing rights and the “level playing field” measures aimed at preventing unfair competition.
The expected deal comes with just days left before the current trading arrangements expire on December 31.
Johnson led a late-night call with Cabinet ministers to update them on the situation.
He has been in close contact with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in recent days as top-level efforts intensified to get a deal over the line.
The pair are expected to have a further call on Christmas Eve to agree the deal.
It’s not the first time The Sun has been called out for running ‘client journalism’ on its front pages.
Last year Rupert Murdoch’s red top used the hottest July day ever to trumpet Johnson’s promise of a ‘golden age’ under his premiership as they featured the PM in a ball of sunshine.
Romanian-born Bogdan Cristea responded saying even Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Scinteia – known as the official voice of the Communist Party – would run more understated messaging.
He said: “For all its disgusting sycophancy, would have somewhat struggled with this front page: they were a bit subtler than this.”
no comment pic.twitter.com/oxgBT9qOJV— Tom Kibasi (@TomKibasi) July 26, 2019