Are the events in the British House of Commons last night a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May and her deal or not? The British newspapers are not even talking about it.
On Tuesday night the House of Commons drew two amendments to the agreement that Prime Minister May had earlier discussed with the EU and after that the same parliament shot mercilessly. Firstly, she gets a mandate to get “alternative arrangements” in Brussels that replace the Irish backstop. Secondly, the parliamentarians gave their approval to a text that basically excludes a Brexit without agreement. But it is not mentioned how such a no-deal scenario should be avoided.
The British press reacts divided on those events. A number of conservative newspapers find it a clear victory for May and its deal with the EU. The Daily Express is perhaps the most positive. “She dit it” (she did it) it sounds like that. The newspaper calls May an “unyielding prime minister” who has “realized one of the most remarkable turnarounds in political history”.
The Sun focuses primarily on the notorious backstop, which must avoid a hard boundary between Ireland and Northern Ireland. “Backstop back from the abyss,” headlines of the newspaper. According to The Sun, May now has “the wind in the sails” to ask for adjustments in Brussels. Moreover, she scored a double victory yesterday, because the amendment of the Labour backbencher Yvette Cooper did not get the green light. Cooper asked for a postponement of the Brexit until the end of this year.
The Times is more realistic on their newspaper. The merit of Theresa May is that it has united its party around a potential new agreement with the EU. But at the same time, the newspaper warns that they are not in Brussels waiting to break the divorce agreement again.
According to The Guardian, May has once again bowed to the fierce Brexiters in her party, by accepting an amendment that actually undermines her own deal. Moreover, they are unanimous at Schumanplein, it sounds: the European Union will not make any concessions about the backstop. “May goes back to Brussels but the EU says: nothing has changed,” headlines of the newspaper.
The Financial Times also focuses on the following steps. May is now on “collision course” with Brussels, it sounds there.
The Daily Mirror puts it like this: “May’s deal is back from death… for the time being”.