Correspondents Look Ahead 2018 turned briefly to Brexit. This is what was said:
Lyse Doucet: Let's stay on Europe. We've managed to talk for quite some time without mentioning that B word, Brexit, and who can possibly predict a Brexit? Does anyone want to give a punt on this and be prepared to face up to the consequences next year? What about you, Jon Sopel?
Jon Sopel: I think that as someone who spent ten years covering politics at Westminster during the dog years of John Major, all the struggle that he was having with the Maastricht Treaty, that was as nothing. There is total collective nervous political breakdown in the UK. Nothing has a majority. The only thing that commands a majority is to say no to something. We don't want that. We don't want this. We don't want something else. And I don't see if you can't get a majority how you either avoid one of two conclusions: One is you park Article 50 and say, OK, we're not ready for that to implement and, therefore, we won't go on March 29, or we have to put the question back to the people with seismic consequences, I think, for faith in British politics, for all sorts of other things as well.
Lyse Doucet: Katya, how does it look from Brussels? What do you think?
Katya Adler: The huge outpouring of European emotion the day after the UK voted to leave has given way to dispassion. You know, there's a dispassionate viewpoint now. Brexit either happens or it doesn't happen. They hope we'll change our mind. They hope that they've made this process hideous enough that the UK will change their mind. And if they don't the UK will leave and can forget any special deals as a former member. The UK becomes officially what's known as a 'third country'. which in EUspeak means 'an outsider'. And that means it will be treated as such. It's not about punishment, as it's so often viewed from the United Kingdom. It is about the EU, which on the world trading stage is a feared player that sets the rules. It is a rule setter. And the UK is going to end up being a rule taker. Whether it stays very close to the EU or has a more distant relationship with the EU, the EU will set those regulations. And the public in the United Kingdom was never given to understand that when it was time to vote.