As Brexit negotiations in London continue to stall, British historian Niall Ferguson is comparing it to a student who needs more time to finish a paper — and said the European Union is "sick."
Ferguson, a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, said in a CNBC video he's not optimistic that members of Parliament will strike a deal under Prime Minister Theresa May.
"Before the referendum — and I should make clear that I was on the side of remain — [it was said] that Brexit would be like a divorce. That it would take longer and cost more than its proponents expected. And once it got done, they would then have to face the reality that not all the problems were really the fault of their ex-wife," he said.
"That's pretty much proven right, in that it has taken a lot longer and it's going to be a lot more expensive than anybody who campaigned for Brexit claimed back in 2016."
Ferguson added that with a March 29 deadline looming to come to a deal, it's likely the Brits will ask for and receive more time.
"Now the analogy is more like a student who's behind with the paper and is asking the professor for an extension," he said. "It may be that the Europeans will say no, but I'd be pretty surprised because nobody really wants a hard, no-deal Brexit. It would be disruptive for Europe as well as for Britain."
Ferguson said the European Union is a broken bloc that is slowly crumbling.
"Ten years from now, when the divorce has finally gone through and Britain has left the European Union, we'll wonder what all the fuss was about because we'll have left something that was essentially disintegrating," he said.
"The European Union is sick. People don't really want to admit that, least of all in Brussels. Ten years from now, I think it will be a greatly weakened institution. It won't be dead, but it will be moribund."