Brexit: Theresa May clears the room at the Brussels divorce summit
How’s Brexit going? Well, it’s not, of course. The Government has yet to trigger Article 50. But be in no doubt Theresa May is “playing a masterful hand”. Andrew Lilico tells Sun readers May has been “crystal clear” in her plans fro Brexit. He says we need no “additional clarity”. Things are “clear” – a word he mentioned sevens times in the article. The only “unclear” thing is what Theresa May will get.
The Mirror says the country will he handed a £50bn bill to leave the EU. The money is made up of the “UK’s final two years of EU budget payments plus pensions liabilities and other commitments we have previously agreed to”. This bill has been “confirmed” by EU negotiators. The Mirror adds that EU Ambassador… anyone? Anyone? Yes, it’s Sir Ivan Rogers. Well, he says leaving the EU could take ten years.
That May has been in Brussels with the other EU country leaders has not escaped the Mirror’s eye. It says May lacks authority and presence in meetings. Her “inexperience” is a “major handicap for Britain”. Her rivals see “victim” stamped on her forehead. She was awkward when filmed standing alone as “Europe’s power players hug and greet one another at the Brussels’ summit”. It was “excruciating”. May was “desolate”. The other leader then told her to go while they all went to dinner together.
The Sun agrees. “”NO MAYTES,” it puns. May was “frozen out”.
Over Pages 10 and 11, the Daily Mail sees “KNIVES OUT FOR OUR MAN IN BRUSSELS”. Sir Ivan is being attacked over his “gloomy pessimism”. Sir Ivan, notes the paper, was “top mandarin to Tony Blair”, a man whose mentioning necessitates all Mail readers spinning round three times and spitting. It adds that the aforementioned £50bn bill is a “threat”. It is a”gross upper estimate”.
As in the Mirror, the Mail shows May “friendless” at the summit. Dignitaries “turn their backs” on the Prime Minister.
But the Express has a different view. Its readers see May in conversation with Germany leader Angela Merkel and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
On the matter of that £50bn, a number the Mirror says Number 10 “did not confirm or deny”, we hear from a “Downing Street source”, who says: “Once we have left the EU, the UK government will make decision on how taxpayers’ money is spent.”