So after a nail biting last minute finish we got a Brexit deal:
- …but WAS it bail-biting? Aren’t all negotiations done at the last minute? Well they should be. If you finish early you have left money on the table, or given the other person more time to come back and chip some more off you.
- So this started me thinking: did Boris follow the textbook process or not? And I think he did, as follows:
- Keep going till the last minute, do not jump too close to their position significantly before the end of the process, otherwise you lose the chance to negotiate a bit more, and you just give them more time after that point to get all concessions out if you
- Say repeatedly that you’re nowhere near a deal
- Say that the other person needs to move a lot
- Say that you are prepared to walk away from a deal if necessary
- Appear to be actually BE crazy enough to walk away from a deal if necessary (WAS he though? We’ll never know!)
- Open with an extreme position
- Move in small amounts each time
- Claim that some small value items are a matter of principle (e.g. fishing)
- Get concessions in exchange for things you don’t really care about
- Use Higher Authority, as in “the people back home / Tory MPs / electorate will never agree to THAT!”
- Concede some items that are important to you in order to get a deal – you’ll never get everything. We have yet to see the deal, but there WILL be some parts of it we don’t like, and Boris will get some flak for those.
- Alternate between it being you and your team as the negotiator.
(Of course symmetrically the EU also did all of these things right as well – I don’t want to portray Boris or the UK as the winner. But one thing’s for sure, we would both have been losers if a deal had not been made.)