EU NEGOTIATIONS – DEAL OR NO DEAL?
I have been watching the news reports about the British Government’s negotiations with the EU’s negotiator, Michael Barnier, and also their dealings with Jean-Claude Juncker.
The interesting thing is that, despite predictions of common-sense negotiating at the behest of German car makers, it seems evident that the EU negotiators are behaving in exactly the same kind of way as we are used to EU negotiations taking place in the past.
Had the EU been a different organisation where negotiations could take place flexibly and sensibly and on a common-sense basis, then there can be no doubt that David Cameron would have brought back a far better compromise package, which would probably have resulted in there being a narrow majority for Remain in the referendum.
So the lack of the EU’s willingness to negotiate on anything of significance is part of the reason that we are where we are at the moment.
Almost inevitably the EU is now again adopting an intransigent approach to negotiation, whereby they are not prepared to discuss the financial settlement before the terms of the divorce have been settled. That thinking would be muddled even if we were talking about a real divorce of a married couple.
In a proper divorce the first stage is merely to decide whether or not the situation is one where divorce is proper. In an English court that is now done quite simply. It is more or less taken for granted that if the couple want to divorce they will be able to, provided they can make suitable allegations.
Once the divorce has been ordered, then the court will be prepared to go on and deal with the financial settlement. Clearly there is little intention of having further relations between the divorcing couple except for looking after the children.
This is not the kind of situation that we are in with Brexit. It is not equivalent to a divorce despite some of the rhetoric that claims that it is similar.
If it was a divorce it would be one where the EU were saying that they won’t ever discuss what the arrangements for the children will be until we have settled how much we are going to pay them! That is simply not a way which the court would accept was proper for divorcing couples to behave.
So the EU is not behaving in a proper way.
It is however behaving in exactly the sort of way that you would expect EU apparatchiks to behave, that is in a demanding and dictatorial way the purpose of which is about protecting the EU as an entity, rather than looking after the interests of EU member states, let alone EU citizens!