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Brexit ultimatum: London's Risky Game

Ahead of the eighth round of talks between Brussels and London on building a relationship after Brexit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened that if no agreement is reached by October 15, his country will withdraw from the negotiations. For the UK, even a tough Brexit would be very positive, Johnson said. In addition, the British authorities plan to pass laws that go against the agreements concluded with Brussels in 2019. How far can such a tactic go?

Johnson turns Britain into a midget country

According to the newspaper De Morgen, the risky party led by the British authorities will cost the citizens of the country dearly:

“The British need Europeans more than the other way around. Of course, the country's exit from the EU without any agreement and all the new duties and bureaucracy associated with it would have a negative impact on our exports. However, our export companies have at least the advantage that they can count on the 450 millionth internal EU market and look for new consumers both in it and outside of it. Boris Johnson, in spite of his own ambitious slogan 'Global Britain', remains empty-handed. Great Britain has not yet entered into a single major trade agreement and found itself on the world market all alone — in a market where dwarfs quickly become victims of giants. If Johnson continues to play too risky, he will soon be the 'naked king' and his constituents unemployed.”

Brussels will not follow Johnson's lead!

A politician who turns the agreements he himself made upside-down cannot be taken seriously, writes the Kleine Zeitung:

“Yes, Brussels has always signaled some willingness to compromise. But it was about formal details or technical issues, but not about the deal as such. The EU will not make concessions on key points. ... At the same time, Johnson, who has stuck with the nickname “Boris-seven Fridays a week”, causes hardly measurable damage to his own country, which is simply incomprehensible to the mind. And he also thinks that after such somersaults he will be able to negotiate on an equal footing with the USA, Australia, Canada, or China. The European Union has already developed over a hundred directives — and is quite ready for a tough Brexit. And Johnson still thinks that it will be enough to just blame Brussels.”

A risky game...

Bluffing or not, Johnson is betting not just the possibility of a compromise with Brussels, but something more, says La Repubblica:

“In October last year, Johnson, in the same way, at first stubbornly refused the plan developed by his predecessor Theresa May, but then at the last moment, he still agreed to it. However, this time, Johnson's declaration of intent to invalidate all signed Northern Ireland clauses is, with his own hands, poses a virtually insurmountable obstacle to an agreement. Just like in a third-rate Western in which the villain lays out his pistol on the card table and threatens to activate it if someone else gets the win. The risk that the situation could spiral out of control is extremely high. The political crisis around Northern Ireland could rekindle violence between Catholic and Protestant populations.”

Irish economy faces new shock

For Ireland, settling relations with the UK is a matter of survival, writes The Irish Independent:

“On the shelves of Irish supermarkets and in factory warehouses, abundance will reign only if goods are brought into the country from the UK — or through it. Any serious disruption to a well-functioning process in British or local ports threatens to turn into a real blow to the economy. All Irish people, without exception, consume imported goods, which include basic consumer goods, including food. That is why it is important that supply chains work efficiently — and there are no congestions and disruptions in ports. However, this scenario may well come true if the EU and the UK do not reach an economic agreement. Or — if such an agreement will lead to additional control measures and, accordingly, new import duties.”

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