May presents Brexit plan

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.

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The Irish Times (IE) /

Socially weak the biggest losers of Brexit

If the UK doesn't reach an agreement with the EU after the Brexit it will be subject to the rules of the World Trade Organization - meaning that the losers of modernization will end up suffering the most, the Irish Times warns:

“WTO membership, if Britain moved towards freer trade, would allow it to benefit from cheaper food from outside Europe - EU prices on beef and veal are currently around 30 per cent higher than world prices - cheaper cars, textiles and other goods subject to the EU’s common external tariff. But the irony is that, contrary to the hopes of many Brexiteers, leaving the EU will expose Britain to more globalisation, not less; and in a more competitive and harsher world it will be the 'left behind', those most likely to have voted for Brexit, who will suffer the most.”

The Times (GB) /

Exiting EU for free is an illusion

Even after the Brexit Britain won't be able to avoid agreements with other states that limit its national sovereignty, the Times point out:

“Every treaty obligation that a country enters into involves some dilution of sovereignty. By definition, it means agreeing not to do some things and thereby gaining a collective benefit. British voters have judged, in the referendum, that the costs of EU membership - in budgetary contributions, freedom of movement and regulatory burdens - exceed the benefits. That is a respectable case and the government must act on it. The idea that there are no costs at all in Brexit and that the benefits of membership may be retained is, however, false and irresponsible.”

Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

No golden mean option

With her speech May put an end to the speculation about a hard or soft Brexit. But the real problem is that there is no golden mean for Britain, Il Sole 24 Ore comments:

“More than three months after the British people's unexpected No it is difficult to find a compromise that will allow the government in London to save face with the voters, that doesn't harm the economy, and that offers the EU partners protection against the exit virus. … The room for manoeuvre is proving to be minimal. A 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit are the only options. With a significant novelty: up until Saturday the timing of the decision was uncertain. Since 4 pm on Sunday, since Teresa May confirmed that London will trigger Article 50 of the EU treaty by March 2017, the countdown has begun. So there are two years and six months left to reach an agreement. But London still hasn't the faintest idea as to how and with whom to negotiate, or about what goals it can - realistically - aim for.”