12 Rules on How NOT to Negotiate for a Successful Brexit
Advice to our British friends : A concise compilation of the delusions shaping the surreal mindset of Britain’s Brexiteer brigades.
March 31, 2017
Also see our visual op-eds in these newspapers:
1: Don’t Be So Blatantly Obvious
The Brexiteers are amazingly delusional. They seem to compete with one another incessantly, usually to launch the latest, highly transparent scheme to dupe other nations. They don’t understand how, with their ill-placed bravado, they make themselves a global laughing stock.
2: Don’t Assume CEE Nations Can Be Bought Off
Seriously? Throwing Poland and Hungary some defense money out of the UK’S global aid budget, to buy votes for a sweet Brexit deal? Not even Mr. Kaczynski is that cheap and without principle (one hopes).
3: Stop Talking About “Win-Win” Situations
Large nations – from the United States to India – lining up to do grand deals with the UK? Dream on.
A hint: Anytime a Brexiteer talks about “win-win,” all they are signaling is their profound lack of strategy and realism.
4: Don’t Threaten Other Nations with Self-Immolation
Cutting corporate taxes in the UK? Re-positioning the UK as another Singapore? Good luck with that, too.
Exactly who will fall for that desperate ploy, carrying all the hallmarks of a Hail Mary pass in American football?
It certainly won’t help keep European companies in the UK, or offer non-EU companies a dependable bridge into the EU market.
5: Being Cocksure Signals Desperation
Another amazing feature about the promoters of Brexit is that they seem to seriously believe that they hold all the cards in their hand.
Or that the world owes them to get away with their flight of fancy, yet again. In reality, they hold as many cards in their hand as Arsenal in international competition.
6: Don’t Whine So Much
The promoters of Brexit are really schizophrenic: They boast that, now fully sovereign, they are atop the world. A moment later, as soon as their pipedreams are challenged, they whine endlessly about other nations being out to victimize or “punish” the UK.
7: Understand the Difference Between Punishment and Self-Burial
Nobody is forcing the UK to pursue the maneuver it does. But the consequences are foreseeable and will have to be borne manly by s/he in the UK who’s dunnit.
8: Nobody Can Eat Sovereignty
The constant refrain about “sovereignty” is a thin reed on which to hang the entire Brexit edifice.
The commoners in England are going to be sorely disappointed. Sovereignty gains them nothing in the real world. To paraphrase Brecht, “you can’t eat sovereignty.”
9: Beware the Demons You’ve Called Up
Once blue-collar voters find out that the whole Brexit spectacle ends up being little more than a full employment act for London lawyers and accountants, they will be properly incensed.
One can only guess where they will take their frustrated emotions. Look to late-stage Weimar, and move past the 1933 date to capture the nastiness that is already shining through.
10: Get Real
The most amazing spectacle about the promoters of Brexit is that, in their unwavering pursuit of a “grand” deal, they are determined not to take in reality.
It’s a bit like the Russian Communists in 1917. They ended up, quite accidentally, with a revolution – and were desperate to make the country fit the ideological precepts. See Stalin’s “Socialism in one country.”
11: Don’t Throw Away a Good Deal
The most amazing spectacle of all put on display by the promoters of Brexit is that, in their pursuit of a grand deal, they completely ignore that they already have the very best deal right in their hand that any nation will ever get from the EU. Following through on Brexit will turn that into a write-off.
12: Like Imposing Reparations on Oneself
Human history is rife with victorious nations imposing nasty reparations deals on the defeated, bleeding the latter’s economy dry for at least a couple of generations. History does not know of nations who impose such deals on themselves. Herein lies the novelty of the Brexit concept.
Brexiteers don’t understand how, with their ill-placed bravado, they make themselves a global laughing stock.
Anytime a Brexiteer talks about "win-win," all they are signaling is their profound lack of strategy and realism.
Nothing is gained out of sovereignty in the real world. To paraphrase Brecht, "you can’t eat sovereignty."