#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Friday 4 December 2020

The British and German media reacted very differently to May's speech

From ‘The Iron Lady’ to ‘Little Britain’ – vested interests mean the assessment of her speech has been varied to say the least.

Germany Britain Source: Markus Schreiber

THE WORLD HAS been discussing the British Prime Minister’s speech from yesterday – so what did they make of it?

Brexiteers applauded May’s speech as comprehensive and firm…

Tweet by @Andrew Connell Source: Andrew Connell/Twitter

Tweet by @The Telegraph Source: The Telegraph/Twitter

Tweet by @Neil Henderson Source: Neil Henderson/Twitter

…while those against Britain leaving the EU aired their grievances that more wasn’t clarified, and focused on the stinging ending of Theresa May’s speech.

Tweet by @Neil Henderson Source: Neil Henderson/Twitter

While the UK and Ireland have assessed May’s speech as ‘reasonable yet confusing’, the reaction in Germany has been slightly different:

Tweet by @Andrew Connell Source: Andrew Connell/Twitter

The German newspaper Die Welt reacted strongly (and perhaps harshly) to Theresa May’s speech with the headline ‘Little Britain’, referencing the slapstick comedy show that sometimes mocked the English lifestyle.

Another German media Der Spiegel were also very critical, saying that the “British government is blind to reality” and that May repeated ‘I want’ numerous times during her speech:

Tweet by @Andrew Connell Source: Andrew Connell/Twitter

And what about other European media? How did they react to Theresa May’s speech yesterday, and in particular to her warning that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’?


The French publication ‘Libération’ didn’t run with May’s Speech itself, instead opting for a picture and piece on Kim Kardashian’s branding alongside the question we’re all wondering: ‘Europe – the beginning or the end’ (a direct translation would be closer to: ‘the surge or the destruction’)

Tweet by @Libération Source: Libération/Twitter


Italian newspaper La Repubblica ran with the headline ‘London raises a wall between them, the EU and the Common Market’.

The subhead is much more illuminating: ‘Theresa May: Out within two years will be hampered if [there is a] tax war. Scotland: it’s a catastrophe’.

Tweet by @la Repubblica Source: la Repubblica/Twitter


El Mundo went with the headline ‘Theresa May anticipates the “clean” break with the European Union in Tuesday’s Brexit speech’, and inside listed her 12-point wishlist for the UK’s divorce from the EU.

Tweet by @MAJ Source: MAJ/Twitter

Read: ‘The UK says it needs 50 new trade agreements straight away… Is that doable?’

Read: Assange ‘standing by’ offer to be extradited to US – lawyer

About the author:

Read next: