A potential breakthrough on Brexit negotiations and “rip-off” university fees feature on the front pages of Friday’s papers.
With Britain primed for a Friday morning announcement on EU talks, speculation is mounting that a deal on the Irish border issue could have been reached.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Prime Minister was understood to be “finalising” an agreement and working into the night to get the final sign-offs from Dublin, Belfast and Brussels.
They paper says it is believed Theresa May could arrive in Brussels early on Friday morning to complete the deal.
The Times reports that hopes had been raised of an “Irish border compromise”, with the PM “ready to negotiate throughout (the) night”.
It reports that European Council president Donald Tusk had “set an effective deadline” by announcing he would make a statement at 7.50am (6.50am UK time) in Brussels.
Away from Brexit, a report into university fees makes the front page of The Guardian, which says students are taking out huge loans to pay for higher education, but only one in three say they get value for money.
The study by the National Audit Office suggests that if universities were banks they would be investigated for mis-selling, the paper reports.
The i leads on another education story, reporting that university “fat cats” face a “pay crackdown”, as universities minister Jo Johnson vowed that excessive salaries would be brought “under control” within weeks.
It comes following backlash over news that the vice-chancellor of Bath Spa University was paid more than £800,000 in her final year in office, the paper says.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mail says Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson “will not back down” after facing criticism over his comments on British jihadis being “eliminated”, while The Sun reports that police in Suffolk let a drunk driver flee over fields following a crash because they did not want to get muddy.
The Daily Mirror reports that Meghan Markle’s father told them he would “love to walk Meghan down the aisle”.
And the Financial Times leads on its own analysis of gender pay gap data, suggesting that one in 20 UK companies to have submitted figures to the Government have reported numbers that are “statistically improbable”.
Inspired by a game of Scrabble, journalists Chris Haney and Scott Abbott devised a simple board game that became a family favourite which has sold 100 million copies.