Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Europeans challenge Boris Johnson and Brexit

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Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party Annual Congress, Manchester, October 2nd. OLI SCARFF / AFP

Boris Johnson will have a hard time convincing Europeans of his good faith. While the British Prime Minister hopes to snatch an agreement with the Twenty-Seven in the coming days, his image is deplorable outside his country, according to an extensive opinion poll on Brexit conducted by the Kantar Institute, and published Tuesday, October 8th.

According to the study conducted in September in six states – France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Poland – only 5% to 9% of respondents " trust " to the tory leader "To reach a satisfactory solution before October 31".

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Its role in the current negotiations is widely perceived as negative, and they are even 70% in Germany, 55% in Spain or 45% in France not to trust it. The rest of the people questioned do not know what to think of a leader in power for just two months, who has not ceased to promise a Brexit "Do or die" ("Walk or die") for October 31st.

Uncertainty, even more than worry, dominates the continent over the Brexit issue

Brexit may well be imminent on paper, it is the uncertainty, even more than worry, that dominates the continent in terms of the outcome of the three-year divorce between the United Kingdom and its neighbors.

In a country like France for example, 30% of respondents believe that the British will leave the European Union (EU) without agreement negotiated amicably by October 31, 16% with an agreement. But 29% think nothing will happen at this time and 25% do not know what to think. In Germany, fewer than four out of ten people rely on an exit, with or without agreement, within three weeks, against 49% who expect a continuation in the EU beyond the date fateful.

Read also Boris Johnson would be ready to request a postponement of Brexit in Brussels
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Time to decide

In the meantime, European Heads of State and Government should try to agree on a possible amicable compromise at the European Council on 17 and 18 October. Otherwise, the Prime Minister may request a new deadline of 31 January 2020, as required by a law passed in the British Parliament in early September.

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