‘Brexit delay mayhem’: What the papers say as Theresa May’s deal is defeated for second time

The defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal has led the front pages of the UK’s newspapers this morning.

Many of the papers took the view that the rejection has left Britain’s departure from the bloc, Mrs May’s premiership and trust in Parliament in peril.

“House of fools” is the verdict on the Daily Mail’s front page, with the paper saying inside that the “Tory wreckers will not be forgiven”.

The paper also accuses the DUP of “abusing their power by trashing the May plan” and calls Labour’s position “absurd and contradictory”.

“This was a black day for British democracy. No one can yet say what demons it may unleash. But we do know who to blame,” the Mail said.

The Daily Mirror said the “killer blow” means Brexit will not happen on March 29, running with the headline: “Brexit delay mayhem”.

Under pressure: Theresa May (AP)

“That is the fault of the PM and warring Brexit MPs, so they must take responsibility instead of blaming others, facing the wrath of those who will feel badly let down,” the paper said.

The Mirror reported that the PM is now on “borrowed time” and “MPs, parties and people uniting to find common ground is a good way forward”.

The Times said Mrs May has been left “on the brink”, adding: “She is ill equipped to lead the country out of what is a political and constitutional crisis without parallel in modern times.”

“Mrs May’s attempt at brinkmanship has failed. Without trust and authority it is hard to see what she has to offer, having been trounced twice,” the paper reported.

The Times concludes that the Tories may now have to find a new leader in order to get Brexit over the line.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain must leave the EU on March 29.

“That remains the default position under the law and, in the absence of a deal, we should leave without one,” the paper said.

It also claimed there will be “disruption” from a no-deal Brexit “but not the catastrophe that has been predicted”.

Remaining in the EU would be a “betrayal of the referendum vote”, the consequences of which “would be felt for years to come”, it adds.

The Guardian said a no-deal Brexit needs to be voted down by MPs on Wednesday “to stop ruinous fantasies taking hold in our politics”.

“That cabinet ministers would vote to transform the current political and constitutional crisis into an economic one for the sake of their careers shows how deeply corrupting Brexit is,” the paper wrote.

The Guardian reported that delaying Brexit should give the UK long enough “to contemplate what Brexit means for this country”, rather than being “hustled out of the door by a Conservative party on the verge of a nervous breakdown”.

Brexit: What happens next?

The Sun suggested Mrs May’s defeat represents a “catastrophic failure by a -Parliament of pygmies”.

“This great country is in the grip of chaos which is terrifying families and crippling businesses. Our politicians should hang their heads in shame,” the paper said.

It adds that Mrs May’s deal “isn’t great” but “would have got Brexit done”, saying that if Brexiteers get a third chance at a deal they must accept it.

The Financial Times said Mrs May’s strategy “lies in ruins” and the PM must now pursue a new one, if she continues in office.

The paper also backs MPs taking no deal off the table, saying: “There should be no prevarication here. Letting Britain crash out of the EU – as the Brexit ultras advocate – is not fulfilling the result of the 2016 referendum.”

It adds that while a second referendum may be “divisive”, it would offer voters this time “a real choice, instead of the illusory Brexit they were sold in 2016”.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express suggests that any decision made by Parliament that blocks Britain leaving the EU, tries to seek a second option from voters, or significantly delays departure in the hope the national view of Brexit changes “will be treachery”.

“MPs must understand that the citizens of Britain voted to leave the institutions of the EU. If they reverse that in any way, there will be a crisis of trust in democracy greater than at any time in our history,” the paper reported.

The Express said the PM is not to blame for the fiasco. It claimed she was undone by a “fanatical EU bureaucracy” and “Remainer Parliament that has sought to thwart the will of the British people”.


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