Mayhem, crushing, weak: How the papers reacted to the Brexit defeats

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Another tumultuous day in British politics features prominently on the front pages of the national newspapers after Theresa May suffered three bruising Commons defeats.

Ministers had to agree to publish the full legal advice on the withdrawal agreement, while another vote saw the Government forced to allow MPs to have a say in what happens next if the Brexit deal is rejected.

With the Prime Minister’s authority taking a pounding as the crucial December 11 vote looms, papers and leader writers have given their assessment of the unfolding drama.

The Daily Mirror describes the triple blow as “63 minutes of mayhem” and warns that Mrs May looks to be losing control of her Brexit strategy.

In its leader, the paper says the “crushing” defeats have left Parliament in chaos.

“With the prospect of the PM’s Brexit plan being defeated next Tuesday rapidly increasing, these are significant days that will shape our country’s future for decades to come”, it writes.

Describing Mrs May as “weak and wobbly”, it adds: “Either the PM produces a Plan B, or MPs will do it after they’ve written her off for good.”

The Daily Telegraph runs with the headline “The day May lost control”, and says the PM suffered humiliation on a historic scale.

Its editorial comment warns the day’s events were “emblematic of the mess the Government is in – assailed on all sides and buffeted by events over which it has no control”.

The Guardian says Mrs May “staggers on” following the defeats, but The Sun claims the PM “cannot tough this out”.

“Her defeats yesterday were body blows for the Government and possibly Brexit”, says The Sun’s leader.

But the paper does praise Mrs May for her “calm determination”.

The Daily Mail says Brexit is “on a knife edge” following the Commons defeats, and explains that her administration became the first in modern history to be found in contempt of Parliament.

The paper’s leader warns that Parliament, rather than the Government, could end up having “total supremacy in shaping Brexit” – and means Brexit may not happen at all.

“Just consider how that would shatter the integrity of our democracy and erode what’s left of public trust in our political class,” it says.

“It should now be clearer than ever that the only hope of salvation is Mrs May’s deal,” it adds.

The Daily Express also continues to back the PM and warns that Britain’s democratic vote had been “thrown into jeopardy”.

“Sabotage Brexit at your peril!”, its headline reads.

In its opinion piece, it adds: “It is clear that the deal struck by our courageous and indefatigable Prime Minister is now the only sure way that Brexit is delivered.”

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