New bid to secure Brexit deal: will it help?
Britain and the EU want to step up their talks in July to give "new impetus" to the faltering negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement. Both sides agreed to the idea at a meeting of top negotiators on Monday. London continues to reject the idea of extending the Brexit transition period. European media doubt whether the initiative can bring real progress.
London has a problem
The EU has no choice but to let Britain run wild with its pride, El País notes disappointedly:
“The most poignant symbol of how pointless this little summit was is that there wasn't even a joint press conference. Thanks for the clarity. Nor could we have expected anything different given that the rounds of negotiations held in the six months since London officially withdrew at the end of January have led to nothing. ... It is Britain that is leaving and asking for privileges. If it won't give in on any point this is because it has no interest [in a deal]. If satisfying its fervent patriotism is compensation enough for economic disaster, that's its problem.”
Common sense could prevail in autumn
Johnson will have to be more flexible, says De Standaard:
“Economically, Britain has more to lose. The coronavirus crisis is hitting its economy even harder than Europe's. Can Johnson afford an extra recession caused by a hard Brexit? There are those who say that a hard Brexit won't make much of a difference in this respect, so Johnson won't budge. But the real consequences of the coronavirus crisis are not yet tangible. When unemployment and company bankruptcies skyrocket in the autumn, common sense will perhaps prevail once more.”
EU and Britain need each other more than ever
There is much more at stake in these talks than just free trade, warns The Times:
“The outcome is likely to define Britain's relations with its closest neighbours and partners for many years. A deal is essential to underpin co-operation with the EU on a wide range of issues vital to Britain's national interest including cross-border policing, counter-terrorism, climate change, migration and relations with China and Russia. At a time of heightened geopolitical tensions and ahead of a US election that threatens to add to strains on the global order, it has never been more important for the West to stand united. To allow a rift to develop between Britain and the EU would be a failure of statecraft.”