What has Chequers shown me?

I have written before about negotiation, but the fate of the Chequers plan for Brexit has shown an aspect I failed to mention.

Is the Chequers deal dead or just dormant?

Most commentators say the rebuff by the EU was the end for the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan.  However, it’s not over until it’s over, and perhaps there’s a chance the EU will accept it, at the last minute. Is there a cunning strategy?

Why was the Chequers plan turned down by the EU?

I was surprised at the way the EU so totally rejected the Chequers plan.  Whether you think it was a good plan or not, it looked like a basis for discussion. However, if we are to believe the EU’s spokespersons, we only ever had a choice of two deals:

  1. The Norway Option
  2. The Canada Option (a ‘Free Trade Agreement’).

I cannot see why there couldn’t be another option, if they developed a deal specifically for Britain. We’re not Norway, or Canada, yet the EU say the Prime Minister was wrong to try to cherry-pick a deal. Don’t negotiators always have to give and take?

What if Chequers was always a non-starter?

If it is true that we have only ever had a choice between two more-or-less fixed packages, what have they all been talking about for two years? Did our diplomats not know the difference between the EU’s real red lines and their bargaining positions? Why did the EU keep complaining that they didn’t know what the British really wanted, if it didn’t matter anyway?

Long before Chequers, how out-of-touch were the Brexiters and Remainers in 2016?

If anyone had made the EU’s position 100% clear before the Referendum, we could have voted for one option of four:

  1. The Norway Option
  2. The Canada Option
  3. A No-deal Brexit
  4. Remain.

We wouldn’t have needed a second vote and it would have been almost impossible for anyone to ‘betray democracy.’

Happy and sad masks. Did misreading each other wreck the Chequers plan?

Happy and sad masks. Did misreading each other wreck the Chequers plan?

What’s Chequers got to do with your business?

When you negotiate with clients, suppliers or anyone else, are you in danger of wasting time and ending up with something you didn’t want? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you really communicate with the other party?
  • Do you understand the other party’s needs as well as wants?
  • Are you clear about your own?
  • Can you meet them and can they meet yours?
  • Are they asking for the impossible or are you?

Don’t end up in checkmate!