What awaits us in the post-Brexit era?

The UK and the EU are apparently set to continue negotiations on a trade deal right down to the last minute. For Europe's press, however, the outcome of the negotiations is no longer decisive, and it has turned to speculating on what comes after Brexit.

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Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

New order after the chaos

The consequences of Brexit are much more far-reaching than the long queues of lorries at the border, Helsingin Sanomat stresses:

“The chaos will be followed by a new order, because Britain is not leaving the EU for nothing. The British government wants to implement changes that would not have been possible within the EU. Therefore, the real aftermath of Brexit is not the long lorry queues, but the changes the government is seeking to make in industrial policy, taxation and regulation of banks and the financial sector. In this way, the UK is seeking to improve its position in the global competition.”

Svenska Dagbladet (SE) /

Free trade agreement instead of blackmail

A free trade agreement similar to the Ceta agreement between the EU and Canada could be a good solution, according to Svenska Dagbladet:

“Ceta is not an agreement for complete free trade - for example border controls remain in place. But an agreement based on the Canadian model is better than none at all. ... It's hard to understand why the UK should pay for access to the EU's internal market by giving up fishing waters or letting Brussels regulate the British labour market. Yet EU negotiators are sticking to this demand for a 'level playing field'. In this case, a level playing field would mean that Britain is not allowed to increase its competitive strength with a liberalised set of rules.”

Új Szó (SK) /

Too high a price

Új Szó takes stock after more than four years of Brexit drama:

“In addition to their nostalgic yearning for a glorious past, the British are gaining an ever more nationalist Conservative ruling party led by the political turncoat Boris Johnson, a trade barrier between Northern Ireland and Britain, both of which are subject to the British crown, and, as an extra bonus, a potential referendum next year on Scotland's secession. So was it worth it?”

Krytyka Polityczna (PL) /

A meeting place for sheiks and oligarchs

The pressure that Britain's political leadership is now under is probably counterproductive, explains Krytyka Polityczna:

“It was not the foreigners who came to work who spoiled the British state, but those who are rarely seen on the street: the sheikhs, the oligarchs and the so-called financial sharks. If Brexit offers a chance to increase control over these people it would at least have some positive consequences. More likely, however, Britain's government will be even more eager to attract foreign capital to the island to compensate for the economic losses resulting from the divorce from the EU.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

No telling what will happen

With just a few days left before the deadline, The Daily Telegraph is resigned:

“A significant shift is said to be necessary from the EU side, otherwise the UK will from next week trade on WTO terms. However, it is by no means certain that British companies are ready for such an eventuality. ... Most of them have been persuaded that the current stand-off was largely a charade, the inevitable stuff of negotiations before an agreement was reached. It is, however, now quite possible that just 10 days from now the country will need to adapt to a completely new way of trading with our closest market. The Government is adamant that sufficient preparations have been made for this outcome. We may be about to discover whether they are good enough.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Cities and regions must unite

The regions must help to soften the impact of Brexit, London's Mayor Sadiq Khan urges in Le Soir:

“Brexit has always been seen as a process, not as an instant change. Even if it ends at this stage, it will take us many more years to draw new boundaries and understand the implications of this separation and its consequences for us and our community. Cities and regions in the UK and the EU will need to work together to find ways to facilitate the process and mitigate the impact on our respective communities. Brexit must not hinder our efforts to work together on issues that matter to both sides ”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

London guarantees Europe's security

The EU needs Britain not least for security reasons, explains Helsingin Sanomat:

“Britain is a nuclear power with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, an impressive intelligence machine, and a global network of military bases. ... Britain wanted to keep defence cooperation and security policy out of the Brexit negotiations. The European Union is also hoping that the dispute over trade policy won't affect security policy, defence cooperation and intelligence sharing.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Independence is an illusion

The Brexiteers' main goal of restoring Britain's independence is a pipe dream, says the Financial Times:

“Mr Johnson's insistence on a right to diverge from EU norms in areas such as the environment, safety and employment is empty of serious meaning. Businesses that want to trade will continue to shadow the rules set in Brussels. UK boats may catch more fish in 'sovereign' UK waters, but they will have to find willing buyers on the other side of the Channel. There you have it. Brexit is a national tragedy built on a chimera. The UK is about to discover that it has traded the real power to shape its destiny for an illusion drenched in nostalgia.”