Brexit could be delayed
Brexit could be delayed until 2021 under plans being explored by the EU’s most senior officials, the Guardian reported.
A lengthy extension of the negotiating period is gaining traction as the EU’s default position should the Commons continue to reject British Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, and a request emerge.
Replacing the 21-month transition period with extra time as a member state would allow the UK and the EU to develop their plans for the future relationship with the aim of making the contentious Irish backstop redundant, the newspaper writes.
Brussels is determined to avoid offering a short extension only to have to revisit the issue in the summer when the government again fails to win round parliament.
Informed sources say there is dismay that senior government figures are focused on seeking domestic political advantage and appear wilfully blind to the opposition to reopening the withdrawal agreement.
One insider said there was concern that there was no domestic consensus over the withdrawal agreement but also over the UK’s position on what kind of trading relationship it wanted when the transition period elapsed.
Concerns emerged as May confirmed she would not be putting a revised Brexit deal to the Commons this week. Even so she insisted that it "within our our grasp to leave the EU by March 29 and that is what we are planning to do."
May said she would instead put the deal to parliament on March 12 and brushed off the calls by three cabinet ministers – Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark – for a no-deal scenario to be ruled out.
Director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting, Professor Alexander Gusev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the main reason for the possible delay of Brexit is due to the fact that the majority of Britons oppose it at the moment. "The British people insist on holding a regular referendum. Britain is not ready to exit from the European Union, they should recognize it," the expert noted.
"The Irish are 100% against the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, as it frees them from duties and creates a free trade zone,” Gusev continued.
At the same time, he noted that Brexit was supported by only 52% following the referendum. "Teresa May was against Brexit, but complied with the results of the referendum. But as it turned out, they did not calculate all the risks and challenges facing the country as a result of the exit. The British considered that 11 billion euros, which they send to the EU budget was too much for them. But when they figured out the consequences, it turned out that the Brexit damage only in the coming year could amount to about 65 billion euros," the expert emphasized.
In addition, British goods will be charged an additional 9.8% in duty as a result of withdrawal from the EU. "It's an absolute loss in economic terms. In political - either, because Britain loses the possibility of positive contracts. In this regard, I believe that the UK and the EU will agree to impose a moratorium for two years. During these two years, Britain will hold a referendum in which British citizens will not support the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union," the expert believes.
At the same time, the UK’s exit from the EU, according to the expert, will in no way affect the Moscow-Brussels relations. Gusev stressed that Russia maintains relations with every European country, including with states that are not members of the European Union.