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Lessons learned from Phase 1 Brexit negotiations

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":

  1. Never compromise. Stick to your opening negotiating position and the UK will come around in the end.

  2. It doesn't matter how ambitious or even ridiculous our opening demands, the UK is desperate for a deal.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Even if we get 100% of what we want, yammer on about the difficult compromises we had to make to get a deal.

  7. Set artificial deadlines whenever it suits us. The Brits will travel through the night to meet them.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


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yes, although I suspect they knew all that before phase 1 began. Althugh probably they were probably surprised at exactly how utterly dickish David Davis was. "We'd heard he was lazy and stupid, but nothing prepares you for a reality like that.."

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 04:36:07 PM EST
Lazy and stupid seems to be the current fashion in Tory politicians. Perhaps this is because it requires being lazy and stupid not to be nauseated by Tory policies.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'd think they were playing three-dimensional chess. They never see anything coming. But in fact, it's dominoes. They are all lined up, and still Davis and Co are astonished at the way they're falling.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 05:49:10 PM EST
If you've been bathed in a bubble of lies about the EU all your life, it's hardly surprising that the EU behaves differently to what you expected.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 06:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a link yet?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell the truth, Frank.  You're having toooooo much fun to leave this ET insane asylum any time soon.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:54:24 PM EST
I'm still here, and have plenty of subjects for diaries!

I'm just not... retired. :p

I've actually no idea how Colman is still here.

by Bjinse on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 09:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you trying to tell me I have nothing better to do?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am telling that I still have the shoulder to the wheel too often instead of doing better things...
by Bjinse on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 at 08:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And your presence and hard work here are much appreciated!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 at 08:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But aus meiner Meinung, his Bot is the best i've seen here...


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 11:53:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but there comes a point where the inmates are best left to their own devices if recovery is to be effected...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 11th, 2017 at 10:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the avoidance of doubt, the above diary is a spoof. It may in fact substantially reflect the inner thoughts of EU negotiators but they are unlikely to put such thoughts on paper and no actual leak of their inner thoughts is extant afaik.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 07:30:18 AM EST
it's a sad reflection of our times you even had to write that

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 07:45:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some websites even took seriously Der Postillon's claim that Trump is planning to deport the American Indians back to India....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 07:48:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh myyy

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 12:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poe's Law: Without an independent reference, there is no definitive way to distinguish between an extreme position and a parody of that position.
by rifek on Fri Dec 15th, 2017 at 01:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems painfully close to reality to me.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 02:03:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could easily imagine that more junior staff in the EU might have written that for the amusement of their colleagues.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 06:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You calling me Junior????  I may be juvenile but I'm nobody's junior...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 08:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A guide to Brexit bluffer terminology...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 04:40:54 PM EST
Can't really argue with that, although number 2 is just the new version of number 1.

Except number 10 is really all about Rupert Murdoch. He always moaned that if he walked into 10 Downing St everybody jumped to attention, but in Brussels he was nobody. So taking back control is about letting Rupert run things.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 05:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frictionless trade: The physical movement of goods across the border won't be slowed down by customs checks, so it will be just like being in the single market except for the bit where you have to pay import duty.
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 11:16:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gee. Who didn't see this coming?
Davis: UK won't pay Brexit bill if no trade deal agreed
"No deal means that we won't be paying the money," he told the BBC.

Frank? Frank?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 06:56:45 PM EST
and then the EU will close all the borders and say, we ain't sending you anything and we'll not take anything till you pay, in full, and in euros, not monopoly money (formerly known as sterling)

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 07:57:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The money was only ever about causing some pain and embarrassment to discourage anyone else wanting to have their cake and eat it. €50B is a trifling amount in terms of EU finances as a whole.  However its nice to see the UK getting in a tizzy about it with cabinet ministers contradicting each other on whether they will pay it anyway even in a no deal scenario.

However non-payment will also be a very useful raison de guerre if the EU decide they want to start a trade war to stop radical sterling devaluation putting their own industries under threat or if the UK engages in regularity arbitrage. The EU can put an "equalisation levy" on UK exports to counteract the effects of devaluation and claim it is to pay off UK debts and the cost of increased customs controls on EU borders.

Of course the WTO might not be best pleased, but as Davis might say, WTO rules are not really legally enforceable and the EU need the WTO less and less as it negotiates Trade deals with all its key trading partners.  A Japan EU deal has just been initialled and several more are in the pipeline...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 12th, 2017 at 08:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 at 05:22:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I suppose the UK has to hash the details of their own WTO membership out before they can run to them to complain.
by generic on Wed Dec 13th, 2017 at 09:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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