Brexit: Can London make good on 'no deal' threat?
Frustrated by the stalled Brexit talks, British Prime Minister Theresa May has informed the House of Commons that the government has earmarked 250 million pounds to prepare the country for exiting the EU without a deal if necessary. Commentators examine the dangers of this scenario.
The British are bluffing and the EU knows it
London's ultimatum is an empty threat that won't have the desired effect, the Independent fears:
“There is not a single credible study which suggests a cliff-edge Brexit would be anything but a total disaster for the UK economy - and an event many times more destructive for us than the EU. ... It's hard to see other countries falling over themselves to do major new trade deals with a nation that has shown itself willing to behave in such a way. In short, there's no 'mutually assured destruction' to concentrate the minds of the other side. Most of the UK's no deal 'missiles' are pointed at the UK itself. And that's perfectly obvious to the EU side. ”
Pull yourselves together!
Both sides must pull their socks up and free the negotiations from the current impasse, De Volkskrant writes irrately:
“In view of the time pressure one can only hope that the EU leaders will extend [Chief Brexit Negotiator] Barnier's mandate to overcome the stalemate. And the Brits will have to get things straightened out at home as well. Prime Minister May's cabinet is composed in such a way that the EU has no idea where it stands or what London wants. Although May is seeking a soft Brexit she is continually being torpedoed by radical Brexiteers who apparently believe that no deal is the best result. ... And another danger is that nationalist romantics like [Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson will continue to spread fairy tales about the land of milk and honey Britain will supposedly turn into once it leaves the EU.”