Six years on from the Brexit referendum, continental observers have become used to Westminster meltdowns – but many see in the latest cataclysm the inevitable finale of a project that was always divorced from reality.
“Listened to, perhaps; understood, not really,” said Le Monde of Liz Truss on the news of her resignation. “A terrible orator who could do little more than repeat ‘growth, growth, growth’, seemingly impervious to criticism … she was rejected by both the public and her own party.”
Political leaders politely expressed their regrets. Arriving at an EU summit in Brussels, Emmanuel Macron said it was important that Britain rediscovered “political stability very quickly” in the context of the war in Ukraine. Describing the UK as a friend, the French president added he was “always sad to lose a colleague”.
Ireland’s taoiseach, Micheál Martin, expressed personal sympathy for Truss during what he described as “a very difficult time” for the prime minister – although he, too, pointed a finger at Brexit.
“Issues have flowed from that decision, and since that decision was taken,” Martin said. “Many have not been thought through in respect of what was essentially a political decision, with huge economic and market implications.” [Continue reading…]