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Why von der Leyen isn’t the person to watch for Brexit policy (yet)

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Yesterday saw the first public statements from Ursula von der Leyen since her nomination as Commission President. She swept around Brussels, meeting and greeting various groups in the European Parliament, generally trying to help them accept a deal that appeared – mainly because it actually did – to pull the rug from the Spitzenkandidaten model. If most of the […]

Notes from a crisis: the summer edition

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When I teach about negotiation, I sometimes get students to think about negotiators as represented in films. Pretty much invariably, that means a grizzled pro, who doesn’t play by the rules and takes a chance to make a connection where no-one else could. Usually involving some explosions. Boringly, this isn’t how negotiators actually work. Sorry. […]

New faces, old problems

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So today we find out who will be the final two candidates to become the new leader of the Conservative party. It’s also the day that we find out whether the EU has made any progress on selecting individuals to fill the top jobs at the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. Both […]

A business view of Brexit

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I spent most of the day yesterday hanging around* a big bunch of procurement managers: I was very well-behaved and even at the point of speaking to a trio of Chief Procurement Officers I didn’t make a Star Wars droid joke. This was an annual world congress for such individuals and it was very instructive […]

Three lessons for Brexit for the Huawei affair

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Yesterday’s sacking of Gavin Williamson, following an investigation into the leaking of a decision of the National Security Council on the use of Huawei components in the UK’s 5G network, was a big shock, both for its speed and its timing (don’t forget to vote today BTW). There’s nothing to be gained at this stage in […]

Collapsing the ambiguities

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xitIn a moment when so much is changing so fast, it’s hard to know where to begin in trying to make sense of it all. From the upheaval of Parliamentary procedure to the sudden reaching-across-the-aisle by Theresa May, even that which was unthinkable seems to be both thinkable and actually happening. With that in mind, […]

The Millwallisation of May’s Brexit strategy

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For younger readers, Millwall FC garnered much public interest in the 1980s for their forthright style of football and their supporters, whose chant of “nobody likes us, but we don’t care” resounded around stadiums (and punch-ups). Yes, things have moved on, but still the label has hung around. Theresa May hasn’t yet got into any fist-fights, […]

Mapping out the current Brexit hurdles

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Tempting as it is to comment on the flurries of rumours flying around London and Brussels about what is (or, more accurately, isn’t) happening in the talks involving Geoffrey Cox, it’s probably best to hold fire until we know a bit more about it all. Indeed, whatever the outcome (again, probably not much), the UK […]

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