LONDON - European media and commentators have savaged Boris Johnson after his defeat to opponents of a no-deal Brexit in the Commons, saying the prime minister’s tactics had backfired disastrously, his bluster was no longer working, and – after barely six weeks in office – he was already fighting for survival.
“It was another mad day in Brexitland,” said France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde. “It turned out particularly badly for Boris Johnson – and the evening was worse still. In the space of a few hours, Britain’s new prime minister lost what remained of his majority in the Commons, failed to prevent a major rebellion in his own camp, and lost a crucial battle to no-deal opponents.”
Libération turned to the history books, observing that the last British prime minister to have lost the first vote he had faced in parliament was the Earl of Rosebery, in 1894. “And he did not leave a very lasting impression,” the paper noted, ominously. “He survived barely a year in Downing Street.”
But at the end of an “extraordinary day stuffed with surprises, Boris Johnson matched Rosebery’s feat”, Libération added. “In a wholly unprecedented move, the legislature – members of parliament – took control from the executive: the government.”(FA)