Quite possibly, but its more likely that most other EU national governments have moved on from Brexit.

This point isn’t always considered in the UK.  For example an attempt was made by UK Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable to get EU liberal leaders to sign up to a declaration in favour of a second referendum.  The other liberal leaders – including Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister – did not agree to a joint declaration, because EU leaders do not conspire with opposition politicians against their colleagues in the European Council.

The EU also has other items to consider of greater concern: the possible trade war with the US, the diplomatic stand-off with Russia and, not least, the reform of the single currency.

Matters will come to head either later in 2018 or in 2020.  And that concerns the legal means to extend the proposed time limited transition deal, which ends on 31 December 2020 and postpones a cliff edge Brexit until then.  Reports suggest that currently only 9 other EU member states want the transition deal to be open ended.

If the UK enters next year’s transition period with no legal means to extend the cliff edge Brexit date of 31 December 2020, then that date may not be changed at all.  That’s because extending that date will require member state unanimity.  Current Article 50 provisions will no longer apply and the EU27 will be dealing with the UK merely as a third country.

Expect UK government capitulation to be accompanied by more humiliation or panic or both!


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