When does uncertainty start turning unbearable? Once it’s clear that there is no end in sight to it. For the UK, there’s a word for such a splitting headache—Brexit. Going by a tweet just issued by Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, the European Union has accepted London’s request for an extension until 31 January 2020 of its deadline to break apart. However, the Union has made it clear that it would allow for a so-called “flextension”; this means the UK could leave before the deadline if an Exit deal is approved by its parliament.
For many, there is relief in the diminished chance of a no-deal Brexit, which could create trade chaos. With extra time available to sort of internal wrangles, perhaps British democracy can work out what’s best for the country. But an extension in itself may count for little if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has his way. He has threatened often enough to exit without a deal. The country’s legislators appear keen to restrain him from doing anything quite so reckless, but he has begun to deploy tactics that seem designed to bypass restraints. Johnson also seems confident of winning a snap general election on his rush for the exit, which suggests he expects fulsome support for his stance.
Do Britons really want to leave the EU? When the fateful referendum was held in 2016, few citizens seemed fully aware of the cons as well as the pros of an exit. Minds may have changed in the period since. It’s time for the people’s voices to be captured again. A better informed electorate may finally decide Brexit would do little but please xenophobes at the cost of the economy.
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