Brexit in January - and then what?

Britain has secured a reprieve in the Brexit process: the country will elect a new parliament in December and the deadline for its departure from the EU has been extended to 31 January 2020, leaving the possibility of a deal open. Europe's commentators examine potential post-Brexit scenarios.

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El País (ES) /

There is no escaping the EU

Political scientist Víctor Lapuente describes in El País the European Union as an imposing conservative power that doesn't tolerate change:

“The British voted more than three years ago to leave the EU, but they're still in it. And even if they will formally leave it one day, it is highly probable that they will remain tied to it through countless European regulations. ... In its handling of the Catalan crisis and the Greek crisis the EU has broken with its stereotype image as a fragile club on the verge of dissolution. ... Everything it touches turns into stone. Its engineers - not the politicians but its officials - have woven a tight web of regulations and obligations that is inescapable. ... Perhaps one day the European Titanic will sink. But by the time that day comes, no one will be able to escape it.”

Kauppalehti (FI) /

Brexit fatigue crippling trade arrangements

The uncertainty over Brexit is the biggest headache for businesses, Kauppalehti believes:

“Even the most ambitious trade agreement can't replace a single market. The situation is absurd: the negotiating partners are discussing trade agreements that will make trade more difficult and increase the distance between partners. ... Businesses have invested huge amounts of time and money into the Brexit preparations. Yet no one really knows how to best prepare for it. Today's mood is dominated by a sense of fatigue. Not a good starting point for the day when Brexit really happens.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Following in David Cameron's footsteps

After Brexit, Johnson could adopt the policies of his predecessor, political scientist Melanie Sully explains in the Wiener Zeitung:

“The past three and a half years have brought a lot of changes and were by no means fruitless. With Johnson's deal we are looking more to the time after Brexit. Much remains to be negotiated, but some trends are clear. Scotland will go its own way regardless. Even without independence, Scotland can turn away from London and put itself in alignment with EU law. For Northern Ireland Johnson's deal provides for a special status. The prime minister himself is likely to promote English conservatism, which seeks a third way between market economy and nationalisation. Ultimately, this is the unfinished 'modernisation programme' of former prime minister David Cameron. Whether Johnson will be more successful remains to be seen.”