Brexit: negotiations at an impasse

March 29, 2019, is the deadline for the Brexit - yet there is no sign of a majority for either an orderly Brexit or a second referendum in the British parliament. As a result, both Brussels and London are preparing contingency plans for a no-deal scenario. For commentators the Brexit negotiations have been a fiasco - offering only one small glimmer of hope.

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Večer (SI) /

Reconciliation better than brutal divorce

In view of the complex situation Večer hopes both sides will be able to meet half-way:

“There is little sign of a solution that could make everyone happy. A hard Brexit would bring chaos, while a soft Brexit could mean the collapse of the UK because the Scots and the Northern Irish would prefer to remain part of the European Union. A new referendum would almost certainly lead to a defeat for the governing Conservatives in the next elections. But sometimes a partial reconciliation between quarrelling spouses is better than a brutal divorce.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

A high price for leaving the club

Britain has fallen victim to its own illusions, De Volkskrant observes:

“The 'no-dealers' promised a paradise outside the EU where the British would be able to sign far more favourable trade agreements. Didn't they see how President Trump was treating America's trade partners? Right from the outset it was clear that Britain would have to pay a price for leaving the club. ... The British are responsible for the consequences of their decisions. But the confrontation over Brexit is shaping the climate that awaits the EU in the time to come. ... Even if there were to be a second referendum and a yes vote for staying in the EU, it would be a very uncomfortable marriage.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Reality check for British dreamers

The Brexit negotiations have at least opened the British nation's eyes to reality, the Financial Times comments:

“For far too long British politicians, journalists and voters have enjoyed a patently distorted vision of the nation as indispensable world player. Now the nation is facing the painful truth that the UK is not as pre-eminent as it has liked to believe. … Adjusting to a reduced status will require a reality check in our media and our politics and a touch of humility. If Brexit helps the UK come to a more accurate realisation of its global significance, some good may yet come out of this wretched business. Still, it seems an expensive way to learn a lesson.”