What's next for Brexit?
Dialogue with Yang Rui

With the October 31 deadline approaching, the EU has granted another Brexit extension until January 31, 2020, but has kept flexibility for an earlier departure if MPs approve the Brexit deal sooner. As the UK's third prime minister since the referendum, Boris Johnson has taken a strong position on the hard Brexit, keeping the option of a no-deal exit open. However, members of Parliament have rejected Johnson's attempt to fast-track Brexit after his plan was approved by the EU. Now the prime minister is calling for a December general election to solve the deadlock. Would an early election drive Brexit forward? And will Parliament continue to prevent the prime minister from getting things done on his way?

Dr. Yu Jie, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, thinks the extension of the departure date is good news for the UK, but not so good for Boris Johnson's personal image.

"It's a big blow for Boris Johnson, because his promise is October 31, do or die. And now it seems unlikely he is going to achieve what he wanted."In the meantime, she wonders how much and how well has the No. 10 Downing Street really prepared for the no-deal Brexit. "It seems there is no contingency planning in place at all. So the extension is actually good for the UK and the UK economy, but not necessarily good for Boris Johnson's personal capacity."

Mark Pinner, China Practice Managing Director of Interel Consulting, talks about the mentality and frustration of most UK citizens. "We've had the referendum three years ago, and the public is getting very frustrated that there is no resolution one way or the other. The advocates of Brexit want to see us leave the EU one way or the other. The advocates remain don't want to see it. It's taking over the entire political agenda for about three years. They want politicians to do something; they are getting frustrated with politicians and the parliament."

Mark Pinner believes Boris Johnson is doing well and will continue to do well because he has appealed to the minds and hearts of UK citizens who demand changes. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are trying to make it happen. "The Labor Party on the contrary is doing quite badly. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party now want an election, not only because they want to break this hung parliament, to get Parliament to make a decision, but also because they think they will do well."


As for the UK leaving the EU before the new deadline, Dr. Yu Jie thinks the European Union still wants the UK to have a second thought.

"I do not think Brussels wholeheartedly would like to see the UK leave the European Union. Because by allowing the UK to leave the European Union, it shows the European integration project has failed very miserably. Perhaps Brussels still has a glimpse of hope that the UK might stay in the EU, having a second referendum."

"At the same time, Brexit would be a major financial blow for the European Union. And the Union's future would be in jeopardy if more and more countries follow suit. That is why the EU needs to teach the member states a hard lesson when it comes to invoking Article 50."


In terms of the impact on European and global economies due to the growing uncertainty arising from the once-again delayed Brexit plan, Mark Pinner thinks it would set a bad example for other European member states.

The UK is now trying to leave the EU but get lots of the benefits as a member. However, countries like Hungary and Poland think it is better to remain in the EU but complain and get more benefits. "In some ways the EU strategies have succeeded by keeping itself together in theory. But in practice, it will encourage countries to remain but behave badly."


Dialogue With Yang Rui is a prime time daily English talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute talk show covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons.

Schedule: Monday-Sunday

Time (GMT): 0330, 1130, 1930

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com.)