Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Therese Raphael

English Exceptionalism Is a Big Brexit Hurdle

Boris Johnson’s political brand makes it risky for him to agree to any compromises.

Time to change gears.

Time to change gears.

Photographer: Gareth Fuller/AFP

Updated on

Anyone watching the final days of the Brexit negotiations should receive free treatment for whiplash. One moment there’s optimism that a deal is imminent, the next brings a sense of impending gloom about a likely no deal. 

Sunday’s deadline to reach an agreement, set during a long dinner between U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, proved as arbitrary as previous deadlines. But the Dec. 31 cutoff date for the U.K. leaving the single market is final.