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Referendum front pages: UK and European newspapers make the case for and against the EU as polls open

Newspapers make the case for and against the EU as polls open

Newspapers from across the world are marking the UK's referendum on membership of the European Union, which began at 7am today and closes at 10pm tonight.

While UK broadcasters are forbidden from reporting details of campaigning while the polls are open, newspapers have taken a final opportunity to either pick a side or to simply implore their readers to exercise their right to vote.

The Times has opted to comment on the uncertainty in the lead-up to the referendum, quoting a final YouGov poll putting the Remain vote at 51 per cent and Leave at 49 per cent.

The Independent, now a fully digital operation, has also chosen to adopt an impartial stance, leading with a number of key statistics on the UK's relationship with the EU and the message: "All that remains is for you to decide - as you see fit."

The prominent Eurosceptic paper, the Daily Express, leads in all of its regional editions with the headline to "VOTE LEAVE TODAY". "The outcome of the Referendum will be either the trumpet blast of freedom or the death knell of our nation," the front page comment reads.

The Daily Mirror, noting the economic uncertainty a separation from the EU could bring, asks its readers to consider voting to remain. Scottish sister paper the Daily Record leads on a similar note, adding: "You pays for it."

The Sun leads with differing stances north and south of the border between Scotland and England. The English edition apes the typeface of the film Independence Day - handy, since a new one has just come out - calling the referendum a chance to "make history — by winning Britain’s independence from the crushing might of the Brussels machine."

Meanwhile, the Scottish edition adopts a more bipartisan approach - with a classic Sun twist.

The Guardian has highlighted the letters 'I' and 'N' in their logo to spell IN on the eve of what they call a 'last-ditch push to stay in Europe'.

Elsewhere in the world

Newspapers in Europe have been paying particular attention to the UK's referendum on its membership of the EU. Today's edition of the German newspaper Bild asks Britons to stay in the EU, jokingly adding that if they do, Germans will allow the disputed English goal of 1966's World Cup final, stop wearing sunscreen in solidarity with British sunbathers, will volunteer James Bond villains and stop making jokes about Prince Charles' ears.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is feeling the chill: "Shivering on B-Day", reads the headline.

Belgian newspaper De Morgen is surprisingly subdued, considering that Brussels hosts most of the European Union's vital houses of power. "What if Britons say 'bye bye'?" asks a small box on its front page.

El País, Spain's largest newspaper, leads with the referendum. "The UK decides today on their future and that of Europe," notes the headline.

Even The New York Times has featured the referendum on its front page, with an interesting angle: the real winners of the vote, regardless of which side claims victory when the polls close, are the betting shops who have offered odds on the outcome.

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