Loading...
 
 

Brexit: a classic in how not to negotiate

Published: 03 Sep 2019 Average Rating: 5 / 5 Print
 

Author: Tim Cummins

Negotiating something as fundamental (and emotive) as Brexit was never going to be easy. In the end, it has turned into a fascinating case study that will doubtless be used and cited for decades to come.

What happened to BATNA?

Establishing a 'best alternative to a negotiated agreement', or BATNA, is a well established principle in every negotiation handbook. It is fundamental to each party's power. So what happened with Brexit? In their wisdom – or perhaps determined to undermine the process – the UK Parliament promptly removed any possibility of a BATNA by insisting that there must be a negotiated agreement.

Any incentive that the EU may have had for meaningful negotiation was thereby removed.

And what about stakeholder management?

A second key to successful negotiation and a positive outcome is to understand and manage stakeholders. In the case of Brexit, this was perhaps an insurmountable task, given the multiplicity of agendas that needed to be considered. This was again evidenced by the UK Parliament where three years of debate yielded plenty of insight to what they didn't want and very little on what they did want. Again, scarcely a backdrop for effective negotiation and not a credit to the democratic process.

In the EU, stakeholder management is a process of building internal consensus through compromise – a process that results in little flexibility and a culture of last minute decisions.

A lack of vision

Ultimately, the big problem with Brexit is the absence of vision. Without a meaningful goal, it is impossible to unite people in its achievement or to undertake a mutually acceptable negotiation. On this score, both the EU and the UK are at fault. It was in both party's interests to establish a vision for the future relationship and the positive aspects this might bring, but neither could bring themselves to this level of maturity. Ironically, it was this very issue of 'lack of vision' that in my opinion led to the Brexit vote in the first place.

But that is another story!

 
 
 

Related Discussions

Please sign in or register to post on this forum

SAAB Dynamics AB
2019-10-09 08:53:37

Transparency in Distributor Agreements

I'm currently working on a Distributor Agreement and the distributor is prompting for exclusivity in the country which they will be working in. We don't want...
 
 
Replies: 1

Air Liquide
2019-09-10 12:20:00

OPen Book meaning

My company entered into an 'Open Book' contract for supervisory works. Each Party has its own definition of the words 'Open Book', depending upon i...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 6

New International Technology Co.
2019-09-09 07:32:07

ANTI TRAFFICKING TERMS / RECRUITMENT FROM ABROAD

Good morning, we want to include anti-trafficking terms in a Recruitment Agreement, focusing on the requirement of fairness of the entire process and in particular the...
 
 
Replies: 1

Nokia Networks
2019-08-21 18:39:27

reasonable day rates for freelance Contract Mgr in Germany

Hi all, I am in discussion with a small (20 Persons) and highly specialized, high tech start-up (Management-buy-out) a Telco-offspin active in the aerospace industry....
 
 
 
 
Replies: 3
Anonymous
2019-08-06 08:53:51

EPC Contract Payment Mechanism

I am looking for pro's and con's of introducing a mile stone based payment mechanism for an EPC Contract compared to Progress based Payment mechanism
 
 
Replies: 1
Anonymous
2019-06-30 13:00:40

Termination of Convenience

Please suggest the clause for Termination of convenience.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Replies: 5