Deal Or No Deal?



Britain’s Brexit nightmare continues. The head of the European Council says the UK and the EU face a “furious race against time” to finalise Brexit talks before March 2019. Meanwhile the British government has lost a vote in the House of Commons because parliament wants the right to vote on the final terms of the Brexit agreement.   

The thing is, all of this and these talks with the heads of the European Union are meaningless. That’s because ANY one of the other 27 member states can veto any part of any deal.

The British government keep referring to the talks they’re having with the EU as “negotiations”. They’re not negotiations because in a negotiation you have a BATNA. That stands for Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. What that usually means is the option of walking away if you don’t like the deal on the table. The side that ultimately gets the best deal is the one with the best BATNA.

Britain has no BATNA. We’re leaving the EU anyway, so we don’t have any leverage. We can’t walk away because that would mean staying in the EU. We can’t do that because we had a referendum and therefore there is a mandate from the people for us to leave. We didn’t vote to leave only if we get a good deal, we just voted to leave. So we’re leaving, whatever the deal is, no matter how crappy.

With no BATNA, if we think we have any control of what’s going on here, we’re delusional. It’s time we realised that. The politicians know there’s nothing to negotiate here but they need us to believe that they’re working hard on our behalf. The truth is, with no BATNA they have nothing to work with.

The continuing smoke and mirrors of the Brexit talks are classic misdirection. They can’t let the British public see that the EU will decide what Brexit will look like, not Britain. It’s the EU that will tell us what it will cost and then all 27 member states will have to agree to that, we won’t get a say. Whether we’re happy with the terms or not is irrelevant.

Ultimately, we won’t be happy, it has to be a bad deal for Britain because the EU have to make leaving as painful as possible. They need to do that to send a clear message to any other countries that are thinking of seceding from the union.

With no BATNA, all Britain can do is plead with the EU not to make Brexit too excruciating. That’s not negotiating, that’s begging.

Like all nightmares, this one will only end when we wake up.

Craic on!

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One Response to “Deal Or No Deal?”

  1. You’re photo, Sir. My dear wife spotted the artist himself on the Sunday morning it was uncovered and was later interviewed by the Beeb! We reside in Dover, its location. Thanks for reminding me, an ardent Remainer, now and forever.

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