(© picture-alliance/dpa)


  80 Debates

Only a few hours before the start of the Brexit debate in the British House of Commons the government suffered a first setback when parliament voted that the legal advice on the deal with the EU which it had wanted to keep secret must be made public. This does not bode well for the coming debate, commentators fear.

The EU heads of state and government gave the Brexit deal negotiated with Britain the green light on Sunday. Now it must gain the approval of the British and European parliaments. The politicians gathered in Brussels on the weekend displayed sadness, but also relief that an agreement had finally been reached after all the haggling. Is their solace justified?

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had threatened to block the Brexit deal until in the last minute the EU backed Madrid, agreeing that Gibraltar will be left out of all negotiations between the UK and the EU and any decisions will require Madrid's consent. But Spanish media are less than enthusiastic.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was able to persuade the cabinet to back her Brexit plans but it is far from certain that she will be able to get it through parliament. On top of this she is facing a vote of no confidence from fellow Tories. Observers believe a second Brexit referendum may now be on the cards. While some commentators pin their hopes on a new vote, others find the idea utterly absurd.

After pushing the Brexit plan through her cabinet it is far from certain that Theresa May will succeed in getting the House of Commons to approve the deal. Several ministers and state secretaries, including Brexit Minister Dominic Raab, have stepped down, and Brexit hardliners are calling for a vote of no confidence against May. Journalists examine the tug of war in which the PM, the parliament and the people are now immersed.

According to Brexit Minister Dominic Raab, an exit deal between the EU and Britain should be in place by November 21. The British parliament could then vote on the agreement before Christmas. So far, however, there has been no majority in favour of any of the proposals tabled to date. Commentators again discuss whether Britain can afford to leave the EU without a deal.

Hundreds of thousands of people - the organisers claim more than 600,000 turned out - demonstrated for a second Brexit referendum in the People's Vote March in London on the weekend. Prior to the march Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that she would oppose a second Brexit vote. Where is Britain headed?

The EU heads of state and government failed to reach an agreement in the Brexit row with the UK at the summit in Brussels. They have now proposed an extension of the transition phase that starts after Brexit in March 2019. Not all observers are convinced that this is the best solution.

Prime Minister May defended her Brexit plan at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham: if the party fails to support her either Labour will take over or Brexit won't take place, she said. While some commentators say her dynamic performance has convinced people that she can bring Brexit to a successful conclusion, others fear the outcome is beyond her control.

An exchange of blows between Prime Minister Theresa May and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is expected to take place at the British Conservative Party conference. Johnson, who recently dismissed May's Brexit plans as preposterous, has said he would postpone the country's exit from the EU by six months. Will the Tories be able to reach an agreement on Brexit?

Demonstrators have been waving EU flags outside the building hosting the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool ever since the start of the event. They hope the party will change its stance and seek to hold a new Brexit referendum. According to polls, 86 percent of party members back a new vote. Europe's commentators lament Brexit and the loss of Britain's former glory.

London and the EU are at an impasse in the Brexit negotiations. At the summit in Salzburg the leaders of the other 27 member states rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Commentators see the EU adopting an uncompromising stance - but not all of them want the two sides to reach an agreement.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a new Brexit referendum in an opinion piece for The Observer. The consequences for the British economy and living standards are too great for the people to be denied any more say on the issue, Khan argued. While some commentators pin their hopes on a new vote, others point to at least one catch.

The British government has started to prepare the population and local businesses for a hard Brexit without a deal with the EU. In 25 documents it describes the consequences of such a move for food and medicine supplies, nuclear security, air traffic and other areas. Is London resorting to scare tactics to force the EU to make concessions?

Eight months before the deadline for the UK leaving the EU, fears about the impact of a hard Brexit without a deal with Europe are growing. The media must refrain from creating panic among the people with horror scenarios, some commentators criticise. Other warn that not just the British should be worried about underestimating the consequences.

The British government has presented its Brexit plan. It foresees a free trade zone for goods and agricultural products with the EU while special rules would apply for services, and London would be free to restrict migration from the EU. Is this a good compromise or is the UK cherry-picking?

In the row over Britain's exit from the EU, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has followed Brexit Minister David Davis's lead and resigned. Both have criticised Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan as too soft. While some commentators are stunned that a country could intentionally press the self-destruct button, others hope that the EU will now be more conciliatory.

The British cabinet has agreed on a plan for the Brexit negotiations. Prime Minister Theresa May may achieve her goal of pushing through a free trade zone with the EU. Brexit secretary David Davis, a proponent of a hard Brexit, has resigned. Some journalists find the government's soft Brexit approach outrageous. Others believe the final word hasn't been spoken yet.

Many Brexit supporters had been looking forward to the new British passports - no longer bordeaux-coloured, but blue. Now it turns out that the new identification documents are to be produced in France by the French-Dutch company Gemalto, and not, as was the case in the past, by a British company. Welcome news for the press.

The EU and Britain have agreed on conditions for a transition period after the Brexit in March 2019. Britain must adhere to EU regulations for 21 months and may no longer participate in decision-making processes. In exchange access to the single market and the customs union as well as citizens' legal security are to be maintained. Is this a breakthrough in the negotiations?

In Britain the voices of Brexiteers calling for the Good Friday Agreement to be revised are growing stronger. In their opinion it blocks the path to a hard Brexit. Signed in 1998, the agreement put an end to decades of conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Commentators are horrified at the idea.

The Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros is backing the anti-Brexit campaign. His Open Society Foundations have donated the equivalent of half a million euros to the Best for Britain organisation. In the British press opinions on Soros's involvement are very divided.

Theresa May has ruled out any form of customs union with the EU in the run-up to the next round of Brexit negotiations. Commentators see this hard stance as the result of domestic pressure on the prime minister and fear Britain's hopes for economic success after leaving the Union will be dashed.

Leaving the EU will be disadvantageous and weaken economic growth in almost every sector and region of the UK, a confidential report commissioned by the British government shows. Europe's newspapers blast the British leadership.

EU Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have told London that continued EU membership is still a possibility, fuelling the debate about a second Brexit referendum. The Europeans' "hearts are still open" to the British if they change their minds, Tusk said in the EU parliament in Strasbourg. Juncker concurred, but London is apparently not interested.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair has warned in a commentary piece that other countries may leave the EU, and called for a new referendum on Brexit. Some commentators are annoyed by the former leader's refusal to accept that the UK wants to leave the EU. Others advise the Labour Party to pay close attention to Blair's arguments.

The British parliament has secured the right to have a say on the Brexit deal. On Wednesday a majority of MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the EU withdrawal bill to this effect - against the government's will. Is this a bitter defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May, or is she secretly delighted?

After months of wrangling about the UK's Brexit payments to the EU a compromise has apparently been reached. According to media reports London has agreed to pay between 45 and 55 billion euros. The British were deceived about the cost of Brexit, commentators rail, and see Prime Minister Theresa May further weakened.

The EU chief Brexit negotiator Barnier has given the British government two weeks to clarify its position on the Brexit divorce bill after yet another round of talks ended without a breakthrough. Only by reshuffling her cabinet can May keep her job, some commentators believe. For others the chaos in the Tory Party is just the same kind of turbulent phase governments in other European countries are also experiencing.

Frustrated by the stalled Brexit talks, British Prime Minister Theresa May has informed the House of Commons that the government has earmarked 250 million pounds to prepare the country for exiting the EU without a deal if necessary. Commentators examine the dangers of this scenario.

Shortly before the EU summit on October 19 and 20, negotiators from Britain and the EU are meeting in Brussels for the fifth round of Brexit talks. Commentators call on Brussels to abandon its stubborn stance and stop blocking the negotiations. Others discuss the merits of calls for a new referendum.

In her Brexit speech in Florence British Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed a transition phase of two years after the UK leaves the EU during which Britain would continue to contribute to the EU budget. Finally May is showing willingness to compromise, some commentators remark. Others point out that key questions remain unanswered.

The British parliament has approved the EU Withdrawal Bill. Under the draft law, more than 12,000 EU guidelines are to be transferred to national legislation. Commentators criticise the bill as undemocratic and worry about how divided the British parliament is.

A draft of a new British immigration law has triggered harsh responses. The document leaked to The Guardian reveals significantly tougher regulations after Brexit. Lower-skilled migrants are to be given residency for a maximum of two years, and British businesses will be told to put British workers first. The plans are controversial within the British government, as well as in the media.

The third round of the Brexit negotiations has also ended without any progress to speak of. Key issues like the rights of EU citizens and the Irish border remain unresolved. And the question of Britain's financial obligations vis-à-vis the EU was once again a major bone of contention. Commentators ask who stands to lose most from the negotiators' intransigence.

As the next round of negotiations between London and the EU kicks off the Labour Party has adopted a clear position on Brexit: the UK should remain a member of the single market and the customs union during a transitional period of up to four years after exiting the Union. This puts Labour on a collision course with Theresa May's Conservative government. Will this change the whole approach to Brexit?

British Prime Minister Theresa May had promised Brexiteers that London would regain full judicial sovereignty after Brexit. However a paper published by her government now says that only the "direct jurisdiction" of the European Court of Justice would end but that its decisions would continue to be regarded as guidelines. Commentators differ on whether this is a sensible U-turn.

Brexit is endangering the future of the open border between EU member Ireland and the British part of the island, Northern Ireland. London now wants to make the issue part of the negotiations on a customs union, in a bid to prevent the reintroduction of stringent passport and goods controls post-Brexit. Commentators see the plan as unrealistic.

Britain has proposed a temporary customs union for the period after Brexit. According to the plan, trade with its European neighbours would remain unchanged for a transitional phase of up to three years. Some commentators are relieved that London is finally coming to its senses. Others warn against being too soft on the British.

In the Brexit talks London has apparently gone back on former statements that it would continue to pay into the EU budget even after it has left the Union. The EU estimates the hole Brexit will leave in its budget by 2020 at 60 to 100 billion euros. How can the conflict be resolved?

Can the Brexit decision be reversed? Isn't a second vote even compulsory since May's government emerged weakened from general elections and the negotiations with the EU seem to be getting ever more complicated? These questions are the focus of growing debate in the UK.

British PM Theresa May has called on the opposition Labour Party to help her government implement the UK's exit from the EU. Commentators criticise May's speech and ask how serious her offer of cooperation really was.

The British government on Monday presented its plans for the 3.2 million EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit. Those who have lived in Britain for more than five years will be able to apply for unlimited residency with full access to education, the pension system and public healthcare. All others would receive a temporary residence permit. Not all media see the plans as sound.

Britain and the EU will start the second round of Brexit negotiations today, Monday. For the first time concrete issues such as financial demands and the future of EU nationals in Britain will be dealt with. A glance at Europe's op-eds conveys the impression that a year after Britain voted to leave much still remains to be resolved.

Queen Elizabeth presented the programme of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Wednesday. Almost a third of the 27 bills deal with Britain's planned exit from the EU. Commentators examine the Queen's speech in the context of the parliamentary elections and the Brexit negotiations.

Just under a year after the British voted to leave the EU the Brexit negotiations have begun in Brussels. Weakened after the general elections, the British government will be more open to a softer and more humane Brexit, commentators believe, putting their trust in the negotiators' bargaining skills.

With a month to go to the snap election in Britain, Europe's press focuses on how the vote will influence Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy.

In a surprise move, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called a snap election for June 8 in what she says is a bid to give Britain a stable majority for the Brexit negotiations. According to the polls her Conservative Party has a big lead against the other parties. Will May's strategy pay off?

With start of the Brexit process a row over the EU's future budget is now looming. The loss of the British contribution will leave a large hole in the budget, and several countries including Austria and the Visegrád states have already warned that not they but the net contributor nations must fill the gap. Observers anticipate that the budget row will create more problems for the EU.

The parliament in Edinburgh has approved First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plan for a new referendum on Scottish independence. According to the plan London should allow the people of Scotland to hold a new referendum before Brexit, meaning at the latest in March 2019. The press shows understanding for the Scots' rekindled desire for independence.

Now that the Brexit process has formally begun the EU and the UK are positioning themselves for the upcoming negotiations. London has adopted a more compromising tone in its most recent communications. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has expressed willingness to talk about future payments to the EU and a free trade agreement. How much will both sides lose in the negotiations?

Now that the British parliament has approved the Brexit bill the UK's departure from the EU - with all its consequences - is drawing closer. The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's plans to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence and the hypothetical possibility of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland reuniting prompt the press to speculate on whether the UK is on the brink of disintegration.

In view of an impending hard Brexit, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to give the Scots another chance to vote on independence from the UK. British Prime Minister Theresa May promised to take into consideration the interests of the Scots, who want to remain in the EU, but she has done nothing of the sort, Sturgeon maintains. For the press both sides are taking excessive risks.

The British parliament on Wednesday approved the bill allowing the government to trigger Brexit. Although most MPs are against Brexit, 494 voted in favour while only 122 voted against the bill. Some commentators believe the vote is a serious mistake while others see it as the logical consequence of the referendum.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has ordered Labour MPs to support the May government's Brexit bill in parliament. Several MPs, however, plan to ignore the order and vote against it. So far two members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet have resigned. The press is also at odds over whether Labour, as a left-wing party, should give the green light for Brexit or not.

The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that the British government cannot launch the Brexit process without consulting parliament in a decision that upholds the High Court ruling of November. The press discusses whether this could lead to a softer Brexit than that outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May and if the MPs could even stop Brexit altogether.

Britain will not remain in the single market after Brexit, Theresa May announced in her speech earlier this week. The prime minister also promised that her country would curb immigration from the EU and would no longer be subject to the ECJ's jurisdiction. Commentators put a damper on expectations that other member states will benefit from Brexit.

Britain's permanent representative to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, has resigned from office, expressing sharp criticism of his government. In a mail to his colleagues he accused London of lacking the necessary negotiating expertise. The official reason for his resignation was to give his successor time to assume office before the Brexit negotiations begin. For observers the diplomat's resignation exposes the many weaknesses of the Brexit camp.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has stressed that Brexit should be completed by October 2018. Barnier said on Tuesday in Brussels that the EU will have only 18 months for the negotiations once Britain triggers the process in March. Commentators see Brussels as having the upper hand and argue against the idea that London will be able to dictate the Brexit conditions.

The UK's Supreme Court on Monday began hearing the appeal against the High Court ruling that parliament must have a say on the Brexit plans. The most senior judge stressed at the start of the four-day hearing that the court was dealing only with legal and not political issues. Not true, some commentators object. Others point out that parliament wouldn't block Brexit anyway.

In his first autumn statement on budget policy the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on Wednesday announced tax cuts and increased public investment. As a result of Brexit lower growth and higher inflation are expected, he said. Hammond's calm demeanour stands in sharp contrast to Prime Minister May's contradictory Brexit policy, journalists comment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned the parliamentarians not to oppose the British people's vote for Brexit. Last week the High Court in London ruled that Britain's exit from the EU could not be triggered without parliament's approval. Some commentators believe parliament shouldn't have a say on Brexit. Others are delighted that the MPs will now have to adopt a clear stance.

A leaked British Treasury report warns that Britain would lose billions of euros per year as a result of a hard Brexit. But this didn't stop Prime Minister Theresa May from announcing a hard break with the EU last week. Commentators discuss the consequences and say it's not too late for Britain to change course.

British Prime Minister Theresa May promised more social justice at the Tory Party Conference. Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to limit the number of work migrants taking jobs in the country. A hard Brexit would have far-reaching consequences for all Europe, observers fear.

British Prime Minister Theresa May presented a broad outline for the UK's EU exit negotiations on Sunday. She indicated a move toward a "hard" Brexit that could cost the country its access to the single market. Those who voted for Brexit will be hit the worst, commentators observe, and call for more clarity on the Brexit.

After months of infighting Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as the leader of the Labour Party with 61.8 percent of the vote. Corbyn had come under pressure from within his party among other things because he didn't endorse the UK remaining in the EU. Labour will be weakened for a long time to come, commentators believe.

The Bank of England has cut the benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.25 percent in a bid to stave off recession after the Brexit vote. In addition it plans to increase purchases of government and corporate bonds. The flood of money has given the country a reprieve but Britain must soon make clear what policies it intends to pursue, commentators write.

Boris Johnson made his first trip to Brussels in his capacity as British foreign secretary on Monday. While there, the controversial Brexit supporter stressed London's desire to continue cooperating with the EU. Some commentators are delighted at this new, more restrained stance. Others don't trust him.

In her inaugural speech Britain's new prime minister Theresa May promised to make her country more just and more successful. It would play a "bold new positive role" outside the EU, she said. Europe's commentators discuss how May should lead the United Kingdom out of the EU.

The UK Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom are the two remaining candidates to succeed David Cameron as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party. The party members will decide between the two in a vote on September 9. Who are these two women who want to govern the country after the Brexit vote?

Two weeks after the Brexit referendum the first signs of another financial crisis in the UK and the EU are emerging: the British pound has plunged, investors are withdrawing from UK property funds and bank share prices on the Continent are falling. Commentators sound the alarm and call for measures to prevent a shock like the 2008 crisis.

To keep companies in Britain after the Brexit vote the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has pledged to cut the UK's corporation tax from its current 20 percent to below 15 percent, giving it the lowest rate of all the major economies. Can this prevent the negative repercussions of the Brexit?

Nigel Farage announced his resignation as Ukip leader on Monday, becoming the second figurehead of the British Eurosceptics, after Boris Johnson, to throw in the towel. Farage is shirking his responsibility, some commentators criticise. With this step the member of the European Parliament has prevented further chaos, others write approvingly.

Must EU migrants now leave the British Isles? Is the UK on the brink of economic collapse? And what effect will the Brexit have on transatlantic relations? After the British vote Europe's commentators point to the many questions that need clarifying.

Many in Britain are questioning the result of the Brexit referendum. A petition calling for a second referendum on EU membership has gathered more than three million signatures. The old have ruined the future of the young with their vote, some commentators argue. Others criticise that Brexit voters are being depicted negatively in the media.

More than a week after the Brexit vote the British have yet to come up with a concrete plan for when to start official exit negotiations. The press puts forward a few ideas for a new order in Europe.

Across the EU Eurosceptics are rubbing their hands in glee over the outcome of the Brexit referendum and hoping that their own countries will hold a referendum on EU membership. Commentators fear a wave of exits and call on governments to take measures to avoid this.

For the first time in history a country has voted to leave the EU. Just under 51.9 percent of British voters cast their ballots in favour of Brexit, while 48.1 percent voted to remain. Prime Minister Cameron has announced his resignation. Is this just a warning for the Union to get its act together or the beginning of the end?

46.5 million registered British voters will decide today whether their country remains in the EU or leaves. The polling stations close at 10 p.m. local time, and the results aren't expected until Friday morning. Brexit or Bremain? While the answer to this question clearly makes some commentators nervous, others urge everyone to stay calm.

Barack Obama has clearly warned the British against leaving the EU. During a visit to London he intimated that there would be no swift bilateral trade agreement between the UK and the US in the event of a Brexit. While some commentators strongly criticise the intervention, others hope the Brits will listen to the US president.

With two months to go before the UK referendum first Barack Obama and now the OECD have warned of the consequences of a Brexit. The organisation says the British would face major financial repercussions. Commentators examine the campaign surrounding the issue and bemoan the lack of a serious debate about Europe's future.

The British will vote on whether to stay in the EU on June 23. The UK and its EU partners have agreed on compromises regarding London's reform demands. Can the prevailing anti-EU mood in Britain be countered effectively?

London's Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that he will campaign for Britain's exiting the EU. He just wants to improve his chances of becoming prime minister, critics write. Others fear his decision to back the Out camp has made a Brexit all the more likely.

The EU summit in Brussels is turning into a showdown on the Brexit issue. Will Prime Minister David Cameron manage to secure enough concessions from his EU partners to persuade his countrymen to stay in the EU?

Britain and other EU member states will have the right to deny welfare benefits to EU migrants for up to four years. The British government has responded positively to this and other proposals put forward by EU Council President Donald Tusk. But can they prevent a Brexit?