Liz Truss’s resignation after just 45 days in office has caused a stir across Europe and beyond, with commentators and politicians wondering how Britain could have fallen so far, so quickly and with most of the Brexit allegations.
“The departure of the prime minister plunges Britain into a profound and unprecedented political crisis”, was the headline in Le Monde, noting that next Friday Britain “should know the name of its third Conservative prime minister in three months”.
Even this was not guaranteed, said the newspaper’s London correspondent, since the Tory party, “weakened by internal divisions, lack of ideas and lack of new faces after 12 years in power” may prove unable to agree on a candidate.
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“Will the Conservatives, for once, be able to overcome their own partisan interests and choose a leader who will defend those of the entire country?” asked Cécile Ducourtieux. Nothing, according to most observers, was less certain.
“The party is [soon to be] to its fifth prime minister in six years, ”said Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. “This pretty much sums up the UK’s instability since the Brexit referendum. The Tories seem out of the count, but they still have a large majority. “
For the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this could prove to be a problem. There was a real risk, he said, that the next Prime Minister “will not even allow an honest debate on Brexit, which is urgently needed: nothing is paralyzing the UK as much as the fatal consequences of leaving the EU.”
Brexit has been pointed to as the main cause of the country’s political crisis and a significant factor in its economic woes.
“Since June 23, 2016, the Conservative Party has been engaged in a powerful exercise in self-destruction,” Libération wrote. “Six years later, the party’s record is deplorable. But things are even worse for the country, whose reputation abroad has been trashed, and for the British people, neglected by the selfishness of politicians and a Brexit ideology devoid of any substance, which is now paying a heavy price. economic”.
Brexit, all right the French chronicler Marion van Renterghemit had created a “parallel reality” in which politicians, having “promised miracles” after Britain left the EU, could neither realize them nor admit that Brexit itself was a major reason.
In Germany, Die Welt also traced the British political crisis back to 2016. “Since then, the honorable Palace of Westminster has become a madhouse,” he said, noting that Britain will have had as many prime ministers in six years as chancellors. Germany has had for the past five decades.
“British politics has developed a self-destructive centrifugal force that should serve as a chilling example for those who still propose easy solutions to our challenges,” the paper states. There was still no “convincing explanation” of what “real Brexit” was like.
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“The truth is that the Tory party’s Brexit ideology is simply hollow. It’s a handful of clever slogans that, unfortunately for the British nation, have been around for far too long. The spectacular failure of Liz Truss is the clearest example of this. “
Another German business-oriented newspaper, Handelsblatt, noted that economically, Britain was not alone in suffering, “like all major industrial nations, from the external shocks of energy markets and supply chains. global procurement “.
But once again, Brexit has “severely hit the country’s economic shock absorbers,” he said. “The huge drop in trade of the UK’s former EU partners by around 20% speaks volumes: the divorce from the EU was the biggest mistake in recent British history.”
In Spanish El Mundo, José Ignacio Torreblanca agrees. “The Brexiter conservatives were deeply convinced that, free from the bureaucratic shackles of Brussels, the UK would flourish as the great financial capital of the free world,” he wrote. “But the steroid-pumped Singapore floating in the Atlantic that the conservatives dreamed of turned out not only to be a chimera, but also an incredibly dangerous undertaking.”
For Claudi Pérez, writing in El País, Truss’s short-lived administration has offered lessons to politicians and voters in Spain and beyond. “Truss and his UK are just the tip of the iceberg of a worrying phenomenon: the gradual erosion of democratic norms leading to democratic collapses that are the result of growing malaise,” he wrote.
“’God separated the UK from Europe, and there must have been a reason for that,’ Margaret Thatcher once said. With disciples like Truss, blessed be the Lord ”.
La Vanguardia editor Jordi Juan said Boris Johnson and Truss completely destroyed the reputation of both their party and their country. “The image that the British government projects today is simply ridiculous,” he wrote. “Its citizens don’t deserve it.” The British Conservative could no longer make mistakes: “Let me be clear: the British people do not deserve another prime minister like this.”
Beyond Europe, India Today’s Nandini Singh said the British prime minister’s short term was “marred by failed promises and dashed hopes,” while the Washington Post summed up his tenure as “a disastrous series of self-inflicted wounds that they have turned into a spiral of political death “, stating that the country” increasingly looks like an isolated Atlantic island state “rather than an international player.
Tom Rachman of Canada’s Globe and Mail said Britain’s political “misfortune” was “the culmination of six painful years triggered by the Brexit vote, which accelerated the decline of a great power as it pushed dunces and charlatans to command. “.
“Britain cannot simply vote for this mess off the island,” he wrote. “Britain must muster up courage now and view itself honestly. The government of lettuce, apparently, leads only to the compost pile. “
Among politicians, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull goes straight to the point. “The place looks like a mess at the moment. It’s very sad, ”he said at a conference in Sydney on Friday.
“I think what he did was so insane,” Turnbull added in reference to Truss’s mini-budget that crashed markets and triggered an internal financial crisis. “I was just flabbergasted. I knew Boris was wild and woolly, but Liz Truss seemed to be a more sensible person, but she turned out to be even crazier. “
Additional reporting by Sam Jones in Madrid and Samantha Lock in Sydney