by Frank Schnittger
Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 03:24:55 PM EST
I have just received a copy of a leaked internal EU negotiating team memo entitled:
"Lessons learned from Phase 1 Brexit negotiations":
- Never compromise. Stick to your opening negotiating position and the UK will come around in the end.
- It doesn't matter how ambitious or even ridiculous our opening demands, the UK is desperate for a deal.
- Keep May in power. She needs a deal to stay in power and the UK pro-Brexit papers will praise ANY outcome as a magnificent achievement by her.
- Waffle on about general principles in the talks, and then slip a lot of important detail into the actual text at the last moment. Davis is so disinterested in detail he probably won't read it anyway.
- Praise the UK negotiators in public as being incredibly tough opponents across the table. The Tory press will lap it up and chalk up the results as a great victory for Britannia.
- Even if we get 100% of what we want, yammer on about the difficult compromises we had to make to get a deal.
- Set artificial deadlines whenever it suits us. The Brits will travel through the night to meet them.
- Keep the Irish on side. They have 100 years experience of negotiating with the Brits. Garret Fitzgerald got the Anglo-Irish deal through even after Thatcher had said "out, out, out" to every option on the table.
- If talks break down, blame it on the Irish. They have form in that regard and that explanation fits neatly into existing media narratives in the UK.
- If the Brits threaten a no deal Brexit, call their bluff. Oh wait, we already have...
PS If we have to concede something in the negotiations to get a deal we don't really like conceding, we can always say that provision was never legally enforceable anyway and can be safely ignored. Davis has said that's ok.