IF Theresa May had any time to read the European press yesterday she would have been immediately downhearted by the way they reported the other 27 countries’ reaction to her crisis.

She can forget any help from the EU, though the hugely respected French news agency Agence France-Presse reported: “European sources privately say only clarifications or tweaks in the accompanying declaration on post-Brexit ties might be possible.”

To their credit the European newspapers are resisting scorn and mostly reporting the events in a serious tone and some are indicating genuine shock at seeing Theresa May in such difficulty, explaining how the UK’s constitution works – or not, as some see it.

According to the Politico EU website, an EU diplomat sent them an emoji of an exploding head, adding: “It’s devastating to see the political turmoil gripping London since the vote. A member state until recently always known for its cool, calculating and capable operating in Brussels.”

Two of the most viewed video clips on European media websites are those of Alan Duncan bursting out laughing on live television when he was told the meaningful vote was off and the braying laughter at Theresa May in the House of Commons.

The Irish Examiner reported that the governing party, Fine Gael, had been instructing its ministers and members to “stay out of UK political party leadership issues,” especially “no tweets or social media commentary”.

Even the Vatican was taking an interest in what was going on in London last night, the Vatican News reporting that “many Conservative Members of Parliament have been angered with the Prime Minister over her handling of the Brexit negotiation.”