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Brexit - A case study in negotiation

The good, the bad and the ugly !

Regardless of where your politics settle, the Brexit negotiations can be used as a case study highlighting the best, the worst and the down right ugly aspects of negotiation, and should be watched by all who are interested in the art or science of negotiation.

Lets look at what we can take from good aspects of the process of Brexit that we can perhaps learn from: 

Brexit - A case study in negotiation
  • It is a deal of high stakes so well worth keeping up to date with it
  • it is very complicated with a large amount of shopping lists and currencies
  • Power play is being used by both sides : "No deal is better than a bad deal"
  • Stakes have been placed and the gap between the parties is narrowing 
  • The european team of 27 leaders have been largely very disciplined letting their negotiation team get on with the deal

The bad aspects that we can learn from:

  • The UK team have had open fights among themselves whilst the other party watches on
  • The UK team appear not to be handling time well, seeking extensions where perhaps they could use shortage of time to be their friend. (As time was running short the country leaders of Europe were beginning to get involved in the conducting of the negotiation)
  • The UK team appear to be conceding far more than the European team, a bad practice that we would call salami in our negotiation skills courses
  • Expectations have been raised on the other side of the table "we are nearly there", there will be a deal soon" "there will be no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland"
  • The UK's lead negotiator resigned in frustration at his own side half way through the process
  • The UK Prime Minister jumped in to lead the negotiations allowing no point of escalation thereafter
  • The lead negotiator for the UK (The UK PM) has to refer back to parliament for ratification of the agreement
  • The UK said it would pay the Exit fee, then it said it wouldn't ?

The Ugly aspects: 

  • The language is getting derogatory
  • The press and news agencies are creating their own sensational headlines adding to peoples fears
  • The outcome could be very messy

I only wish they had called Blueprint for advice before the whole deal started : )

Seriously though, for your own development keep a close eye as this negotiation case study continues to unfold, and ask yourself at each stage ..."what would I do if it was me leading the negotiations"

Let us know what you think?