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Tag Archives: UK

On being open (or closed)

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As we await the verdict of tomorrow’s European Council on the move to Phase 2, it’s perhaps useful to reflect on the decision-making style of Theresa May. Last night provided a vivid illustration of this, with the amendment to the Withdrawal Bill, which provides Parliament with a vote on the final deal. We might discuss on another […]

Brexit silver (dead)lining playbook

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Sometimes one has the impression that everyone involved in European politics is a big fan of Douglas Adams: certainly, as far as Article 50 goes, each new day brings absurdity piled upon absurdity. The last week has made this point better than most, with the sudden rush to agreement on Monday then brutally undercut and […]

Unbelievable! The no-deal option’s lack of credibility

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In my house, “rock’n’roll” has a very specific meaning. When uttered in the context of getting people out of the house it denotes that we have arrived at the actual moment of departure and no more delays will be tolerated: everyone is moving to the door.* Put differently, I have established a credible set of […]

A trip down memory lane: Shadowing, ERM and lessons for Brexit

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The upsides of getting older are relatively few and far between, but one of the best is that you get to annoy younger people by dragging up things from the past that they have no memory of. And so it’s been this week: I’ve been musing on the late 1980s and the oddities of monetary […]

The negative-sum game of Brexit

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As we roll around to a new round of Article 50 negotiations, it’s perhaps useful to revisit another key structural dimension of this process. Negotiation theory spends a lot of time trying to educate users into the language of positive-sum games. Those inexperienced in such things typically see negotiations as zero-sum: your loss is my […]

Phase II of Article 50: from leaning in to falling out?

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Even if the Article 50 negotiations have yet to move to Phase II (transition arrangements), it is clear that such matters are increasingly on people’s minds. The European Council a fortnight ago did concede that the Commission should start to prepare a draft mandate for Phase II, so that as and when Phase I (tying […]

Who needs what from the European Council?

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The European Council today and tomorrow is an important staging post for the Article 50 process. It marks the point at which the EU27 had decided they would review the negotiations and take stock. More particularly, the original mandate for the Commission suggested that this was the point at which the European Council would take […]

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 […]

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