The transition period has expired — and with the beginning of the new year, the UK is no longer a member of the customs union and the EU internal market. The option of a hard Brexit was averted: at the last minute, London and Brussels managed to come to an agreement. The European press speculates about the short- and long-term consequences of Brexit — on both sides of the English Channel.
Realism will prevail!
Trade ties are unlikely to be severed, says Corriere del Ticino:
“It is possible that in the short term some hurdles and costs will rise, but London is unlikely to be able to completely change the geography of its trade landscape. Even if the EU’s share in the UK’s export and import balance declines in the coming years, the likelihood that the EU countries will become only second-tier partners for the UK is extremely low, if not even zero. This is what all the economic data is evidence of. If it does come to restrictions, the United Kingdom and the EU are likely to conclude new economic agreements. As belated and imperfect as the current post-Brexit agreements are, they represent a step towards a certain economic realism anyway.”
Brussels’ sweet revenge
The Scottish Parliament refused to recognize the Brexit agreement between London and Brussels at the last minute. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. According to RIA Novosti, now Brussels will not remain in debt:
“The situation is getting worse, as London has nothing to silence Scottish discontent with, nothing to promise and no guarantee of quick changes for the better. It is possible that someday the exit from the EU will result in benefits and acquisitions for the United Kingdom, but in the near future, it is unlikely to count on improvement. … Britain has dealt a severe blow to European unity. Recent years have shown that the EU will not forget this for a long time to London and will use every opportunity to respond. And one can hardly imagine more sophisticated revenge than facilitating the exit of Scotland from the United Kingdom.”
The sympathy remains less and less
In this regard, the editor-in-chief of the Rzeczpospolita edition, Bohuslav Khrabota, is occupied with several other thoughts:
“In addition to a ‘tough’ policy, a personal, purely human view of things is also possible. I have always been friendly towards London and Oxford. English pride and self-satisfaction brought me only a smile, and I closed my eyes to it. Today, all this causes me bewilderment and ridicule, but first of all — boredom. In general, the desire to go to the other side of the English Channel disappeared completely. When will I visit good old England again? Apparently, very soon. Before that, I’ll rather go to Edinburgh to celebrate the independence of Scotland with my colleagues there.”