Brexit: a chance for a second referendum?

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.

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Le Monde (FR) /

Not too late

Former British prime minister Tony Blair addresses Europe's leaders in an appeal published by Le Monde and other papers:

“Don't believe this Brexit 'deal' will hold. It is a bad deal for both sides. It isn't liked by the British parliament or the British people or even a significant part of the remaining cabinet. So be prepared for all eventualities, including the possibility of a new referendum. ... It is not too late to reverse up the cul-de-sac. ... There is also now more support for a new referendum than for any other option. I say to the leaders of Europe: help us to help you to avoid a mistake that will blight not only our destiny but yours too.”

Observador (PT) /

It has to be the Brexiteers

A new referendum is part of Theresa May's strategy, Observador remarks:

“By negotiating a Brexit agreement that maintains the UK's ties to the EU May has forced the Brexiteers to push for a second referendum. ... This is a crucial moment, even if officially May doesn't support the referendum. Because only a new referendum can reverse the Brexit now. But this new referendum must be demanded by the Brexiteers (the victors of the first referendum), and never by the 'defeated'. Because if the latter were the case it would be seen as an anti-democratic settling of scores. May has sacrificed herself and may be toppled - but she has opened a window of hope - because Brexit is no longer irreversible.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Remaining in EU would be very British

It would be very British of the British to remain in the EU after all now, writes Tygodnik Powszechny:

“Could it be possible that there won't be a Brexit? That's not very likely, but at least it's a possibility. Prime Minister May rejects the proposals for another referendum, but even members of her own party are voicing support for the idea. Considering the political chaos on the islands, ending the three-year 'Brexit' drama with the decision to remain in the European Union would be a very British move: a little absurd, a little surreal, but in the end the most pragmatic solution.”