Protracted Brexit negatively impacts EU, Britain: French economist

The latest delay of Brexit approved by the European Union (EU) for up to Jan. 31, 2020, negatively affects the EU and Britain, French economist Pascal Ordonneau said.

“This delay will leave time to the British so that internal political questions can be ironed out, but the postponement, ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’, scheduled for the month of January, will not be discussed again,” Ordonneau, secretary general of the Iconomie Institute and former CEO of HSBC Invoice Financing, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“The EU wants to show that it is leaving sufficient time to the United Kingdom so that negotiation returns with a calmer tone,” he said.

Last week, Britian asked the EU to extend the Brexit deadline for the third time from Oct. 31 to January 31 next year.

Ordonneau said protracted Brexit has negatively impacted the process of European integration, as the British economy is closely connected with the EU’s.

The statistics show that Britain’s exports to the EU in 2018 accounted for 46 percent of its total, while Britain’s imports from the EU in 2018 accounted for 54 percent of its total.

According to Ordonneau, the EU has established a production and distribution network based on the free flow of goods and people for greater economic unity.

He said EU members believe that the EU is the best way to achieve economic integration and bring benefits to the European people. But such an opinion was rejected by British people who voted to leave the bloc in 2016.

Referring to the real attitude of France toward Brexit, Ordonneau said most of French people oppose British departure.

Ordonneau said France, one of the founders of the European Union, regards the bloc as an instrument for peace and prosperity in Europe. Britain’s decision to leave the bloc dampens French expectation.

Referring to the post-Brexit era, Ordonneau suggested that France should work to deepen relations among EU member states instead of expanding the bloc fast.

“The enlargement brought with it many disillusions. We are now aware that the EU has gone too fast,” he said, adding that a prosperous EU can earn more support from European people.