The Prime Minister’s latest attempt to break the Brexit deadlock has been branded as “desperate”, “dangerous” and “a gamble too far” as Britain’s national newspapers give their verdicts on her 10-point compromise plan.
The Daily Telegraph is particularly scathing in its assessment of Theresa May’s efforts, and runs with the headline: “Desperate, deluded, doomed”.
In its leader, the paper calls her plan a “sell-out”, warning that it could be the PM’s “most catastrophic U-turn”.
“After years of insisting that a second referendum is wrong, she told a press conference yesterday that if Remainers want one, they just have to vote for her agreement. One can almost hear the sound of the Conservative vote collapsing across the country, not that it has very far left to fall,” it says.
The paper also attacks Mrs May for making the “Brexit mess a hundred times worse”, and says mainstream politics has “fractured as a consequence of (her) inability to lead”.
“Never has a last-ditch effort to secure a legacy done such damage to a political party, the country and a prime minister’s own reputation,” it concludes.
The Sun takes a similar tone and says the offer of a vote on a second referendum amounts to “political suicide”.
It criticises her for caving to Labour demands and warns that her plan is a “gift” to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party ahead of the European elections.
“We respect that Mrs May, in the dying days of her disastrous rule and with no majority, tried to unite MPs around a compromise. But by tossing baubles at entrenched and utterly opposed sides she has simply alienated them all,” it writes.
The Times says the PM’s “new deal” has tried to offer something for everyone but has convinced no one, and describes it as a “desperate final roll of the dice” that may have served only to hasten her departure.
The paper writes: “Mrs May’s problem remains the same as it has always been: that her deal offers no clarity on what the future relationship with the EU would be like, leaving both sides fearing the worst.”
Even the Daily Mail – which says it has been the PM’s “staunchest ally” through the Brexit process – is less than convinced by her latest plan.
In its leader, the paper calls the deal “at best high risk and at worst a dangerous compromise”.
“In reality, the chance of her deal succeeding is minuscule,” it warns.
Despite praising Mrs May for her “admirable dedication”, the paper adds: “The Mail reluctantly concludes this is a gamble too far.”
The Daily Express, which has also supported the PM, predicts she is heading for another crushing defeat.
“If you heard a giant crash yesterday afternoon, that was the sound of Theresa May throwing the kitchen sink in her last-ditch efforts to secure a Brexit deal,” it writes.