Brexit: Europe press sigh over 'unbelievably dragging process'" width="976" height="549">
Many in the European press believe UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to keep his promise of leaving the EU by 31 October following Parliament's rejection of his plan to pass his Brexit bill in three days. The deadline is "hardly possible", says Germany's Bild. It will "definitely have to be delayed" says Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza. Brexit "will not take place on 31 October, but it is approaching", says France's Liberation. The question for several is, as the Belgian financial daily De Tijd puts it: "Will [Mr Johnson] take it to the people after all... Polls predict that his Conservatives would quickly win that... On the other hand, he now has a deal and a parliamentary majority. Is that fetish date of 31 October so important
'Obstacle course not ended'
"The question is about the length of a delay," Italy's Il Corriere della Sera believes. "Boris apparently will not mind a short one... But if Europe, quite possibly, prefers a longer extension... Johnson might decide that it would be better to resolve the matter once and for all through early elections before Christmas - and he is sure to win the popular vote."
"In the looming election campaign the prime minister can tell Britons tired of Brexit that, first, he arranged an orderly exit with the Europeans... Second, he can point at the opposition as those 'guilty' of the ongoing agony of leaving the EU," says Germany's Welt.
Handelsblatt says Mr Johnson's warning he could call a general election was an "empty threat"
But "without the opposition's support, he cannot call a new election," notes the financial daily Handelsblatt. Despite his Brexit bill passing its second reading, "Boris Johnson's obstacle course has not ended. The opposition intends to put a whole set of amendments in his way," France's Le Figaro says.But this doesn't mean he won't triumph, says Czechia's SeznamZpravy website. "Boris Johnson might have lost another battle but in the war he is on his way to a final victory. That is if the unbelievably dragging process of the UK's departure from the EU can be called a victory."And it is not the only commentary exasperated by the process.
'A distasteful horror'
"Clarity must be provided quickly now, because the human cost of Brexit is already impossible to express in terms of numbers," pleads De Morgen in Belgium. "Politicians are not sufficiently considering the emotional consequences of Brexit." "Brexit has turned from a tragicomedy into a distasteful horror, which is likely to haunt us for the next decade," says the Polish Rzeczpospolita. "The Brexit deal is just the start. It will be followed by a fight over trade, services, farming, and all sorts of issues... Only lawyers and satirists will earn from this divorce." BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.
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