• Simon Haigh

The Irish Border: A week is a long time in politics and deal-closing


Was this inevitable? The Brexit deal discussions have essentially boiled down to the Irish border issue. Next week should go some way to crystallizing the direction this issue takes.

The UK and the EU appear to have made progress on the issues of citizen’s rights and the UK departure bill, but the Irish border- oh the Irish border….

The Cambridge Dictionary Online (dictionary.cambridge.org) defines negotiating as:

To have formal discussions with someone in order to reach an agreement with them.

Negotiating requires the act of giving to receive and, in the process, it accommodates the parties’ differences to facilitate an agreement. Unlike selling, negotiation necessarily requires the deal-closer to make concessions. That said, good deal-closers are able to negotiate the deal with minimal compromise.

Until now, proposed solutions from the British side to the Irish border issue have included administrative and technological slights of hand, while the Irish Government has insisted that the UK makes a meaningful political declaration negating any regulatory backward step that would harden the existing border. The DUP in Northern Ireland and far right of the Conservative Party in Britain are not making Mrs. Mays decision an easy one.

Who will soften first? The Irish Government, the British Government, the EU in their expressed support of the Irish Government, or the DUP, or none or some of the above? One thing is for sure- the Irish border with the UK presents a challenge of huge proportions for the current UK Government, security in Northern Ireland and Irish-UK trade and diplomatic and political relations and much more. A sub-optimal deal for all concerned may result.

A week is a long time in politics and deal-closing

#Brexit #IrishPolitics #Negotiation #DealClosing

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