With the 31st October looming just ahead of us all, the dreaded B word can’t help but be spoken about. But the news we read, as we fly through the calendar toward the end of the month, focusses mainly on the impacts that leaving the EU would have on Britain. We don’t tend to hear what may happen to, say, Spain or Germany, when arguably one of the most influential EU members eventually exits stage right. Translating more local new articles can give us an insight into what stance these two countries may be taking on the whole Brexit situation we’ve found ourselves in.
“Time is running out”, states Spiegel Online. The opening sentence of one of the leading German-language news website’s most recent Brexit article, entitled “EU Chief negotiator still sees a chance for a deal”, conveys Germany’s opinion in the current Brexit debates perfectly. They also argued that an agreement must work well for both the UK and for the rest of the EU, and quoted Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the UK leaving the European Union, who said “It is high time, we pour good intentions into legal texts”.
Angela Merkel, who has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005, also gave a comment on where the Brexit negotiations stand, during a government statement, stating that a “good solution” to the Brexit problem would be comparable to “the squaring of a circle”. She also claimed that despite there being “a lot of movement in recent days”, “we are not there yet”. She also made it clear that she could not predict how the EU summit would end today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday).
El Pais, arguably the most actively read and well known Spanish news company, is taking a bit more of a reflective approach to Brexit. “There are a little more than two weeks left before the UK leaves the EU, as is their decision, and with the prospect of Brexit exploding into its worst version, that of no deal.” It is amusing to see the hint of annoyance resonating through here, and rightly so - it was, after all, our decision.
An article in El Economista also wrote: “Except for a last-minute miracle that no one expects, there will be no agreement between the UK and the EU for an orderly Brexit on 31st October. Except for a catastrophe, there is also no room for manoeuvre for the Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, to force an exit without an agreement. The only scenario that remains is to make an extension to the departure date and to release the ballot boxes. But when will that be, and what?” Clearly the borderline desperation for questions stretches across the whole of the EU; it isn’t special to the UK.
18.5 million Britons visited Spain last year, according to government data, which is ahead of the number of German tourists, which was in second with 11 million. The changes Brexit will have on almost every aspect of life, for those in the EU as well as the UK, will be great even if they are, as of yet, not entirely clear. Both Spain and Germany, from these tourism figures alone, will suffer from chaos that has already and will continue to unfold as the Brexit theatrics move into Act 3, with the new lead taking the spotlight.
As of right now, Boris Johnson is determined to make it to the curtain call. Just today he posted a tweet stating “Let’s #GetBrexitDone and lead this country forward”.
Now of course taking into account different countries’ perspectives on Brexit is, as with anything, an informative and eye-opening thing to do. But what it unfortunately will not do, is make the script for this political comedy/drama (depending on how you look at it) any clearer or understandable to its audience. Most likely because it’s being written as we go along.