Brexit fatigue, no one knows what will happen

BRUSSELS, The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union (EU) on 31 October, but till now nobody knows whether this will happen or not.

The situation has become even more complicated after the British Supreme Court last week ruled that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend the parliament was unlawful.

However, the defiant UK prime minister said he disagreed with the court ruling and insisted that the UK would leave the EU by October 31, with or without a Brexit deal.

EU leaders are to decide on Brexit during their crucial summit in Brussels on 17-18 October.

It is still unclear whether the UK will seek another extension to the Brexit deal, or if the EU leaders would agree to such an extension.

“The EU27 are becoming increasingly unwilling to grant the UK another extension, even if there is no deal in place by 31 October.

There is a sense of disillusionment in the Union about the way the current delay is being used by the UK,” wrote Larissa Brunner, an analyst at the Brussels-based think tank European Policy Centre.

The Austrian newspaper Der Standard opined, “the EU partners don’t trust him (Johnson) and have no reason to change their position in order to help ‘Bojo’ out of the impasse he’s gotten himself into.” More than three years after the United Kingdom voted by 52 percent 48 percent in a referendum to leave EU, the country remains deeply divided over Brexit.

And the international community is getting increasingly tired of the uncertain situation.

There is a global fatigue of constantly hearing such expressions as “Irish backstop,” “Brexit deal or no deal,” new referendum,” etc.

Following the 2016 referendum in the UK that voted to leave the EU, the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May set the Brexit (short for British exit) date for 29 March but the UK parliament rejected the Withdrawal Agreement forcing a Brexit extension till 31 October.

Boris Johnson wants the EU to change the Brexit deal, but Brussels has categorically rejected this demand and stressed that there can be no re-negotiation to the withdrawal agreement.

Above all, Johnson wants the backstop on the UK-Irish border in the agreement to be dropped.

The backstop was put as a last resort to keep an open border on the island of Ireland, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Both Brussels and London have stressed that a no-Brexit deal will be harmful and damaging to both sides.

However, both sides also announced that they are fully prepared for such an event.

Brussels is currently preoccupied in setting up the new European Commission, the EU’s executive body, which will take charge on 1 November, a day after the Brexit departure date.

The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has said she will be willing to once more extend the Brexit deadline if requested.

“I stand ready for a further extension of the withdrawal date should more time be required for a good reason,” she told the European Parliament in July.

Source: Kuwait News Agency