espite rising market fear of a likely no-deal Brexit, Britain’s new government led by Boris Johnson is likely to carry a no-deal Brexit through, wrote commentator Nie Shuyi for the overseas website of Party-run flagship newspaper the People’s Daily
Within one week of Johnson taking office, Britain’s currency weakened to around 1.21 US dollars per pound on July 30 – a new low for the last three years. Nie saw this as the market’s response to the series of tough Brexit talks by the Johnson cabinet. On his first day as PM, Johnson said that Britain will exit from the EU by October 31 with or without a deal.
But even though both market fear and economic risks of Brexit are mounting, the new British government is highly like to follow a no-deal Brexit through, Nie said.
First, this could be the preferred option for the Johnson government under the current conditions. He recently noted that unless the backstop clause related to the Northern Ireland border is abolished, the deal his predecessor Theresa May struck with the EU is dead. This is deemed unacceptable by the EU. It is hard for two parties with such huge differences to compromise within 100 days.
Whether Britain will successfully leave the EU also affects Johnson’s political life, Nie wrote. Britain's various political forces have differing views, but agree that the country must leave the EU. If the PM cannot pull it off as promised, he will become the shortest-serving PM in Britain’s history.
And sticking to a no-deal Brexit can be the largest leverage Johnson holds when negotiating with the EU. A report released by the Consortium of British Industries on July 28 noted that compared with Britain, most of the EU member states are under-prepared for a no-deal Brexit. And if the country crashes out without a deal, it will not need to pay the 33 billion-pound-worth “divorce fee.”
Nie also pointed out that Brexit is not just an economic issue, but also has many hidden political and social risks, of which Johnson is fully aware. On a visit to Scotland, he said that he will try to strike a new deal with the EU. But the problem is that time seems not on his side.