May wants to save the Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to present the Brexit agreement to the British Parliament by January 21. She hopes to secure concessions from the EU beforehand, but has so far failed to make progress at meetings with leaders in The Hague, Berlin and Brussels. May is also facing a vote of no confidence in the British parliament. How can a deal be reached?

Open/close all quotes
Pravda (SK) /

Flying visits won't achieve anything

Theresa May's attempt to receive concrete concessions for Brexit renegotiations is doomed to fail, Pravda believes:

“May could just as well throw in the towel. She has precious little chance of securing any fundamental changes to the document she originally wanted to put to her Parliament. That's perfectly understandable. Instead of trying to find a new consensus with 27, it would be simpler for the representatives of a single country - Britain - to reach a consensus on their own. What's more, from the Europeans' point of view the document is the best - or the least poor - deal available. Because no one in Europe is happy about Brexit.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

EU shouldn't humiliate the British

Kristeligt Dagblad urges the Europeans to adopt a judicious stance after Prime Minister May's postponement of the Brexit vote:

“The EU Commission and member countries can now choose whether they want to humiliate the British or display magnanimity. ... Something has to give, and it's clear that the EU holds the key to further negotiations. And these must take place, for reasons of state. ... It must be the will of the people that holds the Union together. Not the fear of ruin and humiliation if you leave it. Unfortunately that's exactly what the EU is doing now: making it very clear to the member states that an exit hurts.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Europe is our destiny

Those who would follow the example of the British exit from the EU should learn from recent events, finds columnist Aldo Cazzullo in Corriere della Sera:

“The dramatic events of the last few days confirm that Europe is indispensable. We can and must change it, reform it and reinvent it, but now more than ever Europe is our destiny. Even for the British, who can't leave it and never will entirely. ... At this stage anything could happen. A new deal. Or even a new referendum. But one thing is clear: even if there is no going back, a connection to Europe, whatever form it may take, is indispensable. And that should also give the anti-Europeans in Italy food for thought.”

Berlingske (DK) /

The British could be given a little more time

Berlingske lays out how Europe should react:

“A close relationship with Britain is very much in the interest of the EU, but it has little scope for concessions. ... First of all the EU and all member states must prepare for a so-called hard Brexit. We must be ready to cushion the worst consequences of a British exit from the EU without a divorce agreement. Afterwards one could give the British a little more time to formulate their wish for a future outside the EU. This would be possible if May or another British prime minister were to ask for the formal EU exit which is scheduled for 29 March 2019 to be postponed by a few more months. It would be difficult, but not impossible.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

EU must lend May a helping hand

The prime minister needs outside support, The Irish Times urges:

“However, that's not to say that EU member states, the Government in Dublin included, should not do what they can to help May at her moment of greatest peril. If she were forced out of Downing Street now, the risk of a no-deal withdrawal would likely increase, with potentially catastrophic consequences for Ireland, north and south. If the EU can issue clarifications or assurances that help May plot a route out of her domestic crisis, and do that without diluting the legal text of the withdrawal deal itself, then that should be explored.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Exit from Brexit is an illusion

Tages-Anzeiger explains why Brexit can't be reversed:

“The Brexit began as a prestige project of the sovereigntists and developed into the current disaster. Not just Theresa May but an entire political class has been discredited, the country is deeply divided and has been preoccupied solely with itself for more than two years. It's almost as if with its ruling yesterday the European Court of Justice wanted to build a bridge: the government in London could simply withdraw its request to leave and the UK would remain an EU member, the judges in Luxembourg ruled. So is Brexit just a nightmare? The exit from Brexit is an illusion. It's questionable whether this divided country would have the energy to make such a turnaround.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

No alternative to the deal

May is down for the count, Der Tagesspiegel concludes:

“May now has hardly any backing in Parliament. Consequently postponing the Brexit vote in the House of Commons can only be seen as an act of desperation. If she fails to bring back any more concessions from the EU summit this week - and there's little indication that she'll be able to - setting a new date for the vote makes little sense. The painstakingly negotiated compromise would then land in the dustbin. And May's political career would be over, no matter how long she holds out in Downing Street. ... But what's also true is that there's no serious alternative to the compromise worked out with Brussels - unless, that is, you regard a chaotic Brexit with no deal as acceptable.”