Five of the Best

The top five comment pieces from today's papers.

Roy Hattersley explains how the new Speaker can stop Prime Minister's Questions "sounding like a bad afternoon in an infant school playground."

The Guardian's Gary Younge on why a Conservative victory "would improve nothing".

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown argues that in these straitened times the left should consider means-testing for child benefit and transport for the retired.

In the Telegraph, Nick Squires examines whether Silvio Berlusconi can ride out the sex scandals developing around him.

Sash Tusa
argues that abandoning Trident would relegate Britain to the "second rank of European countries".

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.