'Enough is Enough.' How European Media Responded to the Brexit Deal Defeat

'Enough is Enough.' How European Media Responded to the Brexit Deal Defeat
'Enough is Enough.' How European Media Responded to the Brexit Deal Defeat  

On Tuesday night, U.K. lawmakers resoundingly rejected the Brexit agreement Prime Minister Theresa May has spent a year and a half negotiating with the European Union. It was the biggest parliamentary defeat for a government proposal in the U.K.'s modern history, with 432 lawmakers voting against the deal, and only 202 in favor.

As May faces a no confidence vote Wednesday and the British government scrambles to find a way to avoid crashing out of the bloc without a deal on March 29 (a "no-deal" Brexit), the rest of Europe is watching the chaos unfold. Here's what their front pages and editorials looked like.


In the Republic of Ireland, whose second-biggest trading partner is the U.K., the mood is understandably tense. Conservative daily the Irish Examiner dubbed the rejection of the deal "carnage" and warned that it leaves the U.K. on the "Eve of Destruction." Dublin, it says, is now planning for "worst case scenarios".

The editorial board of centrist newspaper The Irish Times writes that the scale of May's defeat means her only option is to hold a second public referendum on E.U. membership. "The other E.U. members would surely agree to extend the UK's departure date under Article 50 to allow this to happen," the paper claims.


With dramatic flourish, the editorial board of centre-left daily Le Monde compares the U.K.'s current political trajectory to the country's most iconic car: "Like a Rolls-Royce whose brakes have been cut and is sliding unstoppably down a slope into an abyss, Great Britain sinks deeper into the Brexit crisis."

While none of the E.U.'s other 27 members wants to "close the door in Britain's face," the editorial continues, "Enough is enough. The time has come for them to make up their minds."

Guillaume Maujean, a columnist for French financial newspaper Les Échos, appeals to Britain's most famous historical statesman, "Churchill, wake up! They've gone crazy!" He lays the blame for the confusion firmly on the British political elite, who, he says, "could now push the whole of the U.K. into a no-deal Brexit no one wants".


Italy's leftist newspaper La Repubblica echoes the widespread sense of uncertainty with its front page headline "May on the edge of the abyss." A column by the paper's Enrico Franceschini labels Britain "an island adrift" and expresses frustration that, two and a half years after the U.K. voted to leave the E.U., the whole process "seems to have gone back to square one."


Spanish daily ABC's front page claims the British have been left "Prisoners of Brexit." Its story warns that, with the deal voted down, "no one has any idea when this process will end, nor how to go about it."


The editorial board at German conservative broadsheet Die Welt has harsh words for May. "May deserves this defeat in Parliament because she herself is to blame […] From the outset, as head of government, she only had her Conservative [party] in view."

The paper argues that May should resign. "For British politics, May's persistence, which has long bordered on stubbornness, is a disaster."


More Related News

Climate activist Thunberg urges EU to double its carbon reduction targets
Climate activist Thunberg urges EU to double its carbon reduction targets

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired pupils worldwide to boycott classes, urged the European Union on Thursday to double its ambition for greenhouse gas cuts. At an EU conference, Thunberg warned that politicians who fail to tackle climate change will be "remembered as the greatest villains of all time" for leading the world to disaster. "If the EU is to make its fair contribution to staying within the (Paris climate deal) carbon budget for a two-degree limit, it means a minimum of 80 percent reduction by 2030," Thunberg told the conference, receiving warm applause.

Turkey condemns European parliament committee call to suspend accession
Turkey condemns European parliament committee call to suspend accession
  • World
  • 2019-02-21 06:51:02Z

Turkey criticized on Thursday as "unacceptable" a vote by the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee calling for the suspension of EU accession negotiations with it. The Foreign Affairs Committee called on the European Commission and member states on Wednesday to formally suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey, citing disregard for human rights and civil liberties, influence on the judiciary, and disputes over territory with Cyprus and other neighbors. "It is absolutely unacceptable that the non-binding, advisory draft report is calling for a total suspension of our accession talks to the EU," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Nobody will block Brexit extension, Juncker says
Nobody will block Brexit extension, Juncker says

BERLIN (Reuters) - If Britain asks for a delay to its departure from the European Union, none of the existing members will stand in its way, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday. But, speaking at an event in the German city of Stuttgart, Juncker added that if the extension lasted until the European Parliament elections at the end of May, British voters would have to take part in the polls. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. An extension of Article 50 - which determines the exit date - must be agreed unanimously by all the EU's remaining 27 member states. ...

Merkel, Macron Push for New EU Merger Rules After Rail Veto
Merkel, Macron Push for New EU Merger Rules After Rail Veto

The EU's increasingly tough merger reviews frequently target German and French firms. Current EU antitrust rules foster doubt "about whether we can really create global players," Merkel said in a speech at a technology conference in Berlin Tuesday. Peter Altmaier, her Economy Minister and close ally, later presented a Franco-German industrial manifesto with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in Berlin that detailed their strategy to alter competition regulations.

Kellogg stocks up on Pringles, cereals for fear of
Kellogg stocks up on Pringles, cereals for fear of 'hard Brexit'

As the possibility of a no-deal Brexit looms, Kellogg Co is taking measures to protect Britons from a potential shortage of Pringles, the UK's second-favorite brand of chips. With Britain at risk of leaving the European Union on March 29 without a divorce deal - known as a 'hard' Brexit - several big companies have begun to prepare for the disruption that could ensue. Kellogg is opening new warehouses and stocking up on its snacks and cereals, hoping to mitigate damage from friction at the UK border and tariffs on imports, Chief Executive Steve Cahillane said in a recent interview.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.