It’s Monday 19th June. The negotiations between the EU and UK formally started. Some wish they had ringside seats (that’s me!), and some wish they could shut their eyes tight and read the headlines once it was all over. Quick summary of starting positions for those who missed it:
The EU: published paper outlining starting position for negotiations on citizens rights weeks ago. Nice and clear.
… and …
The UK: PM promises a “generous offer” (as yet unpublished). Ambiguous, underwhelming and has everyone (including the EU) worried.
Let’s be clear, I’m pro-EU, anti-Brexit, ex-conservative, newbie-liberal-democrat. With that out of the way, let me share that walking into a negotiation looking like you haven’t got your house in order is an oldie but a goodie negotiation tactic. But is that what the UK government are doing? … maybe … or are they just disorganised? The political observer in me wants them to be both, but the UK citizen in me wants them to be playing the oldest trick in the book.
Three names you need to know from each side. For the EU: Barnier, Weyand & Selmayr. For the UK: Davis, Robbins & Rycroft. Read about the rest on politico.
27 v 1
The EU represents 27 member states in each and every conversation. That requires some impressive coordination. On the other side of the table, the UK are a something of an unknown entity. Will Theresa May be Prime Minister of the UK in ten days time? Does she have the government backed mandate she needs to continue the negotiations? Do the people the EU are negotiating with have the authority to make any commitments? Do they even know what they want? How can they possible represent us?