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Best Alternative to No Agreement (BATNA
It is tempting to accept perversion of a (commercial) negotiation processes without examining, to begin with, agreement between the parties on its purpose. As the parties are agreed that UK withdrawal from treaties of the union is the instant purpose, what "deal" is disputed?
My understanding is, the "deal" is a euphemism for a collection of contracts between the parties which must be terminated in order to effect political and financial severance of any and all legal obligations addressed thereunder. Yet in review of the parties' records, I find scant evidence of parties' mutual dependence on those rules of socially acceptable and socially unacceptable conduct.
Which contractual obligations specifically, if any, do parties who represent some hundred millions of political constituents --and billions of "stakeholders"-- dispute?
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
However the UK also seeks to retain what it sees as the benefits of membership insofar as it it possible to do so, post Brexit. That is the essence of the Trade deal which the UK is anxious to negotiate.
The EU, for it's part, has indicated that it wishes to have the terms of the "Brexit" deal substantially agreed before it moves on to discussion the terms of any post-Brexit trade deals. The UK cannot have one without the other - it argues.
Specifically, for the EU, ending free movement of EU citizens, the jurisdiction of the ECJ, membership of the Customs Union and Single Market, the direct UK contribution to the EU budget etc. must have consequences, else why wouldn't everyone (selectively) be doing it?
The argument is essentially about what price the UK will have to pay for the benefits it wishes to retain, and failing agreement, the UK will lose all those benefits, together with the obligations it has entered into as a principle in all the treaties it is now abrogating.
Some Brexiteers argue that "no deal is better than a bad deal" means the UK should pay very little at all, on the principle that the EU needs the UK as much as vice versa. It remains to be seen whether they have over-played their hand.
Index of Frank's Diaries
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