British Newspapers Bemoan `Shambles' of Cameron's EU Negotiation

  • `You can't win, Prime Minister,' Daily Express tells Cameron
  • EU leaders's negotiations set to continue into Friday

David Cameron’s crucial European Union summit was only a few hours old but British newspapers had already made up their minds about the outcome.

The prime minister’s negotiations, in which he’s urging 27 other national leaders to agree to change the U.K.’s terms of EU membership, are a “shambles,” Friday’s Daily Mail said on its front page, alongside a photograph of Cameron looking anxious. It’s a “face that says it all,” the newspaper said, adding that the U.K. faces the prospect of its wish list being watered down during the course of the Brussels talks.

Other papers signaled they regard Cameron’s negotiations as being of not much value anyway. The Daily Express declared: “You can’t win, Prime Minister.” Cameron is nowhere near a victory, the traditionally euro-skeptic paper said. Instead, he’s close to “a pitiful surrender.” The biggest-selling paper, the Sun, took a similar tone, saying that the prime minister had to “beg” his fellow leaders for a deal.

The Times took a different approach, leading on its front page with the news that other nations are warning that the summit talks are make-or-break. Countries want a clause in the agreement that stipulates that the U.K. cannot reopen negotiations once a deal is struck. “This is your last chance, EU leaders tell Britain,” was the newspaper’s headline.

Cameron is aiming to seal a deal at this summit, setting him up to announce a referendum as soon as June 23, and has said he will campaign to keep the U.K. in the EU. While Thursday evening’s formal session dealing with the U.K. ended before dinner, officials were set to continue negotiating through the night before leaders reconvene at 11 a.m. on Friday.

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