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Category Archives: Current Affairs

More negotiation theory in Article 50

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I’ve talked before about how negotiation theory might throw some light on the Article 50 process, but it seems useful to return to the subject, given the continuing difficulties that the sides are encountering: might the literature offer some insights? Today, it’s Zartman who springs to mind. He writes on the conflict management side of negotiation, which […]

Must May go, or might May stay? A Brexit balancesheet

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There’s nothing very useful to be to added to the general cacophony around Theresa May’s speech to her party conference yesterday: the jokes have all been made, the judgments handed in. But one aspect that’s been relatively overlooked is the impact on Brexit: as discussion continues to swirl about, could it improve things to have […]

Running down the clock as a strategy in Article 50

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As we all wait with baited breath – possibly – for Theresa May’s Florence speech, I’d like to explore one aspect of Article 50 that’s been visible but somewhat under-considered: the time constraint. Having talked with various people in Brussels and London in recent weeks, I’ve been struck by how time is seen both as a help […]

Probably, shading to possibly: the chances of a Brexit deal

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I’m in Brussels this week, getting a practitioner counterpoint to last week’s academic reflections on the whole Brexit business. While it’s reassuring to see that the two views are not so different, it is not an inspiring picture and it invites an obvious question about whether Article 50 is going to get to a deal or not. […]

The great and the good of Brexit

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I’m just back from the UACES conference in Krakow, which was filled – like last year’s – with much talk of Brexit. I came away 12 months ago with a lot to get out of my system (here and here), but this time I am filled more with weariness: 90% of what I wrote 12 months ago still applies. […]

The weak/strong paradox of Brexit

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I’m wrapping up for a summer break, just as more Brexit stuff is about to be released: tant pis. While we wait for that – and it might not come to much – I’d like to revisit a theme that has long floated about the Brexit debate, namely the weak/strong paradox. Simply put, many of those who argue(d) […]

A tentative model of the EU27’s approach to Brexit

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As everyone (semi-)winds down for the August break, and the pace of events slows, it is a useful point to consider Article 50 and Brexit once more. While I have usually looked at this from the British end, this time I’d like to look at it from the EU’s perspective, not only because I’m now […]

The political and reputational costs of ‘no deal’

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Today, UK in a Changing Europe publishes its report on “The Cost of No Deal“, to which I’ve contributed. Here I consider some of the wider ramifications. There is one than one way that the Article 50 process might fail to reach an agreement and it is useful to consider each of these in turn, […]

Why you should read the negotiating manual

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It might not have been immediately obvious, but we are now into the meat of Article 50.  Even with a first cycle of meetings now done, it has taken a press conference from Michel Barnier to make any impression on the British media, and even then only to comparing notes on whistling. All of which prompts some reflection […]

How transferable is the EU referendum and the Brexit experience?

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I’ve spent the day down at Sussex, talking euroscepticism and Brexit with a highly-informed group of colleagues. As our debate ranged over a wide terrain (see my live-ish tweeting here), several questions kept recurring, first and foremost of which was whether the UK was a special case, or a potential model of Eurosceptic activists to follow. As you […]

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