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One of the difficulties EU negotiators have to face is the possibility that May's government may not be able to command a Commons majority for any kind of deal at all.  Why make painful concessions if they are going to be thrown back in your face? Worse, if they are then taken for granted by whatever Prime Minister comes in to replace May?

A Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn might well take those concessions for granted and the starting point for renewed negotiations and demands for further concessions. A far safer course of action for the EU negotiators would be to make minimal concessions, wait for May's government to fall, and then have some concessions in reserve for when the real negotiations begin with a Prime Minister in a stronger position.

Certainly it is not the job of EU negotiators to keep May in office, and there is nothing worse than negotiating with a weak Prime Minister unable to deliver on her commitments. May's resiling on the Irish backstop deal agreed last December should be a salutary warning in that regard.

Either way, it is difficult to see any deal being passed by the House of Commons while such wildly unrealistic expectations are held by the UK body politic. From an EU perspective, a complete breakdown in negotiations followed by a change of Prime Minister may not be entirely a bad thing, even if that Prime Minister is Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn.

The point being there is little point in negotiating with a Prime Minister who cannot be trusted to deliver on her side of the bargain. This is a question of political power, not personal integrity, and the EU cannot afford to be sentimental in it's choice of a negotiating counterpart.

All of which means that the chance of a no deal Brexit goes up the longer the current fiasco of political divisions in Westminster persists.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 at 11:32:52 PM EST
the problem for theresa May is not that there is no majority in Westminster for a properly negotiated and orderly brexit.

Her problem is that it's the wrong sort of majority. Brexit came into existence to hold the alliance that is the Conservative party together. Principally the swivel eyed freetrade fanatics c/w the business first pragmatists. Europe splits this alliance apart because they are fundamentally incompatible, in the US it's probably the point of difference between the modern incarnations of both the GOP and the DNC Democrats. They are able to work together on most issues, but on this issue there can be no harmony: One side must prevail. Just as with Cameron, May is trying to pretend there is a happy position between them and that is the foundation on which she is trying to build her brexit.

And its failing. And the UK will sink with her

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 06:28:30 PM EST
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