MPs want Brexit postponement

The British House of Commons has rejected an amendment for a second referendum and voted in favour of delaying Brexit after rebuffing a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday. Now the postponement must receive the approval of the 27 other member states at next week's summit. Should they agree to it?

Open/close all quotes
NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

London must deal with its own chaos

EU Council President Donald Tusk wants to meet London halfway and push other EU members to agree to delay Brexit. NRC Handelsblad sees this as the wrong strategy:

“That was certainly not a very clever signal for Tusk to send at this point in time. On the one side we have May endlessly repeating 'Brexit means Brexit', on the other the EU's 'This deal is the only deal'. If it now allows a lengthy delay, it will convey the impression that the deal is up for renegotiation. But the European Union has no reason whatsoever to do this. The problem lies with the British, who also caused it. They must solve it themselves.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

A Trojan horse in the EU Parliament

In view of the fact that Britain would have to take part in the EU elections if Brexit is postponed the EU should think carefully about how much time to grant London, warns Pieter Cleppe, head of the think tank Open Europe, in The Daily Telegraph:

“But if there are two or three serious contenders for any of these top roles [in the EU Commission] this time around, the UK may well act as the powerbroker. How attractive is that prospect for the EU27? If the UK government has any sense, after all, it will use its influence in those discussions as leverage in Brexit negotiations. ... If the UK dispatches a new legion of MEPs to Brussels and Strasbourg, which would no doubt include plenty of eurosceptics, the possibility of the parliament continuing with business as usual would shrink further.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Don't make scapegoats of the British

Trying to blame the British for all the EU's problems is wrong, Der Standard argues:

“For one thing the Europeans could tackle their problems if they had the will to do so. You can't really blame the British for the fact that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Emmanuel Macron are pursuing diametrically opposed visions for the Eurozone and other major projects. And then the European unity project is not an end in itself. It is meant to serve the interests of all the citizens on the continent. It is by no means just Britain that criticises Brussels's self-centredness. The EU and its member states should keep the door open for this country shaken by the fever of nationalism.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

EU can sit back and relax

All the flurry surrounding the Brexit is only problematic for the British, writes the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet:

“The EU is in the infinitely enviable position of being able to float in the waters of British domestic politics and take in events while sighing 'We've done all we can'. For example Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, recently made public a letter from a young British girl to whom he promises that the EU will forever be her friend. Whether or not it's a cheap campaign trick, it is excellent proof that in reality the marathon Brexit votes aren't giving Brussels a headache at all.”

The Sun (GB) /

We will become a laughing stock

Parliament should stop wasting time and accept May's Brexit deal, The Sun urges:

“The PM's deal is unpopular with both Parliament and the public. But wait until we are saddled with a supersoft non-Brexit instead. Voters aren't stupid. They will know they have been mugged and take revenge at the ballot box. … Do the Tory ERG group grasp now how bad this could get? … Today Remainer MPs will vote for Mrs May to beg the EU for extra time, postponing Brexit and almost completing our humiliation before the world. And unless her deal can pass within days, we will be entirely at Brussels' mercy.”

Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

EU resistance is counterproductive

In the interests of everyone concerned the EU must now meet the British halfway, Göteborgs-Posten demands:

“A no-deal Brexit would be good neither for Britain, nor for trade, nor for the EU. It's understandable that the EU doesn't want to let the British engage in cherry-picking. However, the fear that other countries could follow London's example is exaggerated. Few countries can measure up to Britain, the world's fifth-largest economy. ... The Brexit is a fact, and a deplorable fact, at that. Nevertheless the EU member countries must do all they can to help Theresa May to achieve an orderly exit. To count on the British eating humble pie before the summer would be to put Europe's stability on the line.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

UK is on its own now

Even Britain's closest allies in the EU, the Netherlands and Denmark, seem to have had enough of its antics, Jutarnji list comments:

“Mark Rutte said that Brexit can only be postponed if London can clearly state what it hopes to achieve in the meantime. The Danish PM Lars Rasmussen stated bluntly: come Wednesday the preparations for a no-deal Brexit will be stepped up. ... Everyone will lose out if it comes to a hard Brexit. That seems clear to all sides, apart from the [British] Conservative MPs in their Eaton Boys' ivory tower. And they have every reason not to care: they'll never feel the negative consequences of Brexit, and their ardent supporters will only love them all the more after it happens. Just as Trump's fans adore him.”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Things could not be worse

May should have pushed for a second referendum, Helsingin Sanomat believes:

“We must not forget that May was burdened with an impossible task. Britain couldn't just up and leave the Union, as the Brits had been told before the referendum. ... But May could have explained that the Brexit procedure had reached an impasse and that the people would have to vote again. That would not have been in contempt of the popular will because this time around the alternatives would have been better understood. The decision to hold a second vote would not have harmed her career, her party or her country any more than the current impasse.”