The UK leader is talking to a brick wall in the EU partners
The events of Thursday’s Salzburg summit dominate Friday’s front pages in the UK, which use a range of terms such as “fury”, “humiliation” and “disaster” to describe EU leaders’ rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
The Guardian reports that the prime minister was left fighting to save the proposals – just over a week before the Conservative party conference – when EU leaders led by Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron rejected her Chequers plan as it stood. The “ambush” at the end of the summit in Austria has resulted in hard Brexit Conservatives demanding the plan be abandoned.
The Sun channels the voices of those hard Brexiters in a front-page editorial in which the French president and Tusk are mocked up as Prohibition-era gangsters carrying tommy guns, under the headline “EU Dirty Rats – Euro mobsters ambush” May.
“We can’t wait to shake ourselves free from the the two-bit mobsters who run the European Union,” says the tabloid.
Also from the strongly pro-Brexit camp, the Daily Mail paints the prime minister in a more assertive light than other titles and reports that a “furious May” warned that she was ready to walk away from the EU without a deal after what the newspaper described as a “calculated Brussels snub”.
The prime minister was “visibly furious” as she rounded on others for “hanging her out to dry”.
The Daily Mirror’s splash makes maximum use of one of the best photos from the summit – taken by Reuters photographer Lisi Niesner – in which an isolated-looking May glances back as a phalanx of besuited male EU leaders appear to walk by.
The UK is closer than ever to “crashing out” of the EU with no deal after the British leaders plans were “shattered”, it says.
The Times, which also says that May is facing a Tory revolt, reports that British officials were “blindsided” after Tusk dismissed the Chequers proposals as unworkable.
An unnamed pro-European Tory MP is quoted as saying that the PM’s domestic credibility had been badly damaged and her leadership was in question in a way that it had not been 48 hours ago.
The i splashes on “The Salzburg Disaster” – using the now-familiar image of May in red – as it describes the summit as turning “ugly”. It quotes the Hungarian leader, Viktor Orbán, saying that France and Germany want the UK to “suffer”.
May is cast in a better light by the Daily Express, which reports that “a defiant” PM had vowed to protect Britain’s interests after the EU leaders rejected Chequers.
The image of Macron is elevated to front and centre of the Daily Telegraph. Over five decks of text, it quotes him as saying: “Brexit is the choice of the British people … pushed by those who predicted easy solutions … Those people are liars.”
A “scathing” French president warned that Britain must climb down further if it wanted a deal, according to the newspaper.
The prime minister was “ambushed” in Salzburg, reports the Financial Times, which said May was “seething” by the time she arrived at a cramped and sweltering briefing room for a post-summit press conference.
Her ambitious proposals for post-Brexit trade have been effectively declared dead by the EU and many of her own MPs.
MESSAGE FOR MRS MAY…….
GO FOR GOD’S SAKE …LEAVE……GET OUT !