Another Brexit postponement?

The House of Commons has rejected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit timetable. Prior to that it had agreed on Tuesday evening to the deal he negotiated with the EU. Johnson put the exit procedure on hold pending reaction from the EU. Now the question is whether the EU will comply and grant the extension that was already requested on Saturday.

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

EU has changed sides

The Daily Telegraph observes that a new alliance has formed between Johnson and the EU:

“The Remainers live on and will now fight a more disingenuous battle to undermine the Agreement, using the delay that they have engineered to amend and weaken it. ... But something serious has changed: the EU is no longer allied with them. It wants now to work with the Johnson government to get this very deal over the line. It is not prepared to discuss more demands and more compromises. Having re-opened the May Withdrawal Agreement (as it said it never would), it will not consider doing it again. This really is the end.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

Europeans losing their patience with the British

That the EU 27 will agree to another Brexit postponement cannot be taken for granted, the Irish Examiner warns:

“Even though some kind of extension appears inevitable, no one should underestimate how tense this debate might become among the EU's leaders. The situation is very different to when May was in power, when hardcore Brexiteers complained that she had done a poor job and boasted they could get a better deal from Brussels. Brexiteers don't blame the EU anymore for what is clearly a UK problem: Parliament's inability to decide. Macron's impatience with London is spreading to his fellow leaders. ... There's a point where infinite delays will be deemed costlier than no deal.”

La Stampa (IT) /

The word of the hour: Order!

John Bercow is maintaining order even if he is not entirely unbiased, La Stampa observes:

“Who knows where the Brexit process would be today without Bercow? The House of Commons speaker must be neutral and leave his party when elected to office. But many now accuse Bercow of siding with 'Remain', which he voted for in the referendum. The powers conferred on him certainly allow him to lead the debate: it is he who gives the floor to the MPs and who ensures order with admonishments. No one has shouted 'Order. Order!' as loud as he has. Today the Brexit battle in Westminster enters the next round. ... The government has announced the publication of the agreement text so that voting on it can commence this afternoon. ... Under Bercow's watchful eye.”

Berlingske (DK) /

Johnson can be pragmatic if need be

The fact that Boris Johnson has made compromises in the Northern Ireland question with his back against the wall is seen as a good sign by Berlingske:

“Now it looks like Labour MPs could give his deal a majority in parliament. If this works out, Johnson will have shown that he has the necessary political strength to push through a compromise. ... It would be right to make the agreement the subject of a new referendum. ... But in the eyes of the EU, we can at least be glad that Johnson has shown the willingness to be pragmatic. In the negotiations that will take place between the EU and the UK if Brexit goes ahead, a great deal of common sense and pragmatism will be needed.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

There is always a winner

No matter what the outcome of the Brexit process, it's already clear who the winner is, Tygodnik Powszechny writes:

“Now Boris Johnson can do what has always served him well: accuse the opposition and the parliament of blocking the will of the people. ... Neither the mass anti-Brexit demonstrations in London nor the potential failure (and even less the convincing of further MPs) will be politically damaging to the prime minister. It would now be even easier for him to find supporters in the event of early elections, as both British and European politicians just want to be done with Brexit once and for all.” (DE) /

Don't let the gambler get away with this

The EU member states should now keep calm and agree to the request for an extension, warns

“The European Union should remember that it is in its own interest to avoid a disorderly withdrawal of the second-largest European economy. The no vote of a single member state would be enough to torpedo a further postponement and thus potentially possibly trigger an economic crash, a no-deal Brexit on October 31st. And Johnson could then say that the EU, along with the British parliament, has plunged the country into an economic abyss. That should not happen. This gambler must not be allowed to get off so easily.”

La Croix (FR) /

Europeans are Johnson's best allies

The fact that Boris Johnson is able to continue with his chaotic policies is all thanks to his European partners, explains La Croix:

“It is far less his 'talents' that will help the British PM out of the Brexit impasse than the new goodwill of the European leaders. Will they grant him yet another extension? Boris Johnson proclaims that he doesn't need one, assuring them that the agreement will be approved by the British Parliament before the deadlines expire. Those who bank on audacity often rely on support from more patient and prudent partners. In this way Boris Johnson is able to continue to play the madcap while the Europeans remain judicious. In this respect, they are proving to be his best allies.”

The Guardian (GB) /

British should be allowed to vote again

If the people are allowed to vote again there is still a chance that the UK could end up staying in the EU, historian Timothy Garton Ash comments hopefully in The Guardian:

“There is no good outcome to Brexit, but the least worst way forward is for Britain to vote in a second referendum to remain. And the best way to achieve that is for parliament to vote for Johnson's deal but subject to a confirmatory referendum in which the British public would be asked to make a binding, final decision on a single, clear question: Do you want Britain to leave the EU on the terms negotiated by this government, or do you want it to stay in the EU? ... How absurd it would be if the UK were to leave the EU, in the name of respecting 'the will of the people', when, according to polls, a majority is now in favor of remaining in the EU.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Voters forgive their PM no matter what

Jutarnji list is surprised by the British prime minister's ability to get his way time after time:

“It's already well known that Johnson can't be trusted - the media that fired him for inventing facts in articles, the lovers he cheated on with other women, and also the Irish unionists whom he stabbed in the back with a new agreement have recognised this. The day before yesterday he said in parliament without batting an eyelid that workers' rights could be protected yet the laws that protect them be abolished at the same time. He convinced the Conservatives that after Brexit a deregulated utopia awaits, and the Labour MPs that Britain will adhere to all the EU's standards. ... The only court he recognises is elections, and his voters have forgiven him for all his misdeeds so far.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

EU more popular than ever thanks to Brexit

The Brexit drama has certain advantages for the EU, Aftonbladet comments:

“The question is whether the EU, which has long been struggling to establish its legitimacy among its citizens, can actually benefit from Brexit. Brexit and the problems that Britain's withdrawal will pose for the country's economy and its citizens have ultimately highlighted the benefits of EU membership. Never since 1983 has support for the EU been so strong. Sixty-eight percent of EU citizens consider EU membership to be beneficial for their country. And a majority says they would vote against withdrawing if a referendum were held in their country.”