For 3 years I and anyone with an understanding of EU negotiations have talked about the importance of trust, goodwill & credibility.
All are gone. UK is considered an unreliable, dysfunctional failing state led by a serial liar whose word means nothing.
The unbearable shame.
We didn’t say these things were important because we’re naive idealists that just want everyone to stop shouting and be nice to each other.
We talked about their importance because they are needed to get what you want.
Negotiations require compromise, and opposite numbers can only make the compromises necessary if they trust that it’ll be worth it for them. If they trust that you’ll do what you say, and keep your end of the bargain.
Goodwill is needed so that opposite numbers continue to want a compromise, and so that they’ll go to their very limits for one. Compromises have a cost. Leaders have to justify and defend their compromises at home, and without goodwill there, this is hard and risky.
Credibility sustains both of these. Assurances mean nothing without it. Trust that any solutions you propose can work or will be implemented evaporates.
Goodwill is impossible when faced with a someone spouting a torrent of bullshit and falsehoods, and lying to your face.
There was never going to be a win-win outcome, but losses and costs could have been minimised for both sides.
Now minimising the damage for itself and its member states is, rightly I’m afraid, the only concern of EU27, whatever the cost to the UK.
And it’s going to cost the UK.
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