EU has fun with Theresa May's Brexit plight

Theresa May criss-crossing the continent on Tuesday in a bid to save her Brexit deal before returning home to find she had to save her own job, gave Europe's newspapers the opportunity to offer their view of British politics yesterday.

German Chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel. Picture: AP Photo/Michael Sohn
German Chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel. Picture: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Some had a bit of fun with it. France’s august broadsheet Le Monde noted the metaphor in the Prime Minister finding herself trapped in the back of a limo with German Chancellor Angela Merkel waiting for her at the end of the red carpet. “The mean spirited will have seen an allegory for the impasse Theresa May finds herself in,” the paper noted. Any concessions Mrs May will get on her Brexit deal would be merely “cosmetic”, it added on its front page. Under a picture of Merkel and May chatting happily, Germany’s Die Welt dubbed them the “ministers for small talk” - a reflection on limited results the pair achieved.

With the Prime Minister facing firm rejection from Europe and possible ejection from Number 10, the tone of many other newspapers was bleak. The Belgian financial journal L’Echo suggested the UK “doesn’t have a lot of hope” of getting anything out of the EU, “which declared with a single voice that there won’t be any renegotiation”.

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Berlin’s Der Der Tagesspiegel’s lead story recounted the day’s events under the headline “Theresa May alone in Europe”.

Like many several European newspapers, Amsterdam’s Het Parool features a picture of Mrs May and EU Commission President sharing a joke and clasping hands warmly as they met in Brussels on Tuesday night - but correctly predicts that the Prime Minister’s “fate is in the hands of her party”.

Ireland’s newspapers carried front page news of a visit to Dublin that never materialised as the Prime Minister was forced to stay home and fight a confidence vote. The Irish Examiner’s splashed on its assessment that the proposed Brexit deal is dead: “No deal edges closer as May bid rejected”.

And Denmark’s Politiken summed up the message over a picture of Mrs May that stretches across its front page: “Nein - No Way - Nee - Non”. A clear message in any language.

Meanwhile outside the EU, media in the United States took time out from covering the ups and downs of the Trump presidency to cast a glance across the Pond.

“Theresa May, facing the end, makes a last ditch appeal for moderation,” wrote the New York Times.