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Explain this "not revealing your hand" thing in Brexit negotiations

(24 Posts)
lljkk Sat 05-Nov-16 08:26:05

(Listening to poker analogies on radio)

But the negotiations aren't like poker. confused
Everyone knows what assets (cards) the UK holds. The trade balance, our position in NATO, our GDP, the role of London in currency markets, it's all obvious exactly what cards we hold. Nothing will be revealed. We also know exactly what cards the EU, WTO & other countries hold.

It's pretty much tolerated even by rabid Leavers that UK wants Brit nationals in EU countries to be able to stay there, for settled EU nationals to be able to stay there. In principle, we want minimal future tariffs & passporting for the city, but not sure we can get any of those things.

So what is there to keep secret & not reveal? Is the secret about which parts we would sacrifice to obtain the others? Is the secret about where our red lines are? And what UK govt will publicly pretend to EU is redline but actually we would sacrifice in a flash to get something else?

EleanorRigby123 Sat 05-Nov-16 09:01:03

I think you are right to say the "secret" will be around the red lines - and the order in which they appear. In any negotiation you have a number of "red lines" - and you would never expect to get all of them, so some are redder than others. Obviously you would not want to hand over the list to the other side - but nobody is suggesting that.

But the real "secret" at the moment is that the government cannot agree among themselves on what they want. So they do not know what there own red lines are. Look at the public statements of the Brexiteers. Boris wants to stay in the single market and accepts that to continue to do that we will have to accept freedom of movement while Liam Fox wants to leave the single market and restrict immigration. These are at least logical positions. Other Brexiteers seem to think we can remain in the single market, at no or reduced cost, continue to have a say in how it is regulated and restrict EU migration - which is cloud cookoo.

I think TM's main worry is how she is going to come out of this looking as if she has "won". Because if she doesn't - and clearly she won't "win" - Tory prospects at the next election - against a background of rising inflation, stalled or possibly negative growth and rising unemployment - will be grim. And that is of course what Corbyn and co are banking on.

NotDavidTennant Sat 05-Nov-16 09:07:37

I think it's telling that the Government want to treat this like a hostile negotiation where they have to keep their positions as secret as possible. The idea that if we cooperate with the EU there might be a deal that is of mutually benefit to both sides just doesn't even occur to them.

Pagwatch Sat 05-Nov-16 09:09:51

I think it is super secret code for 'we have no fucking idea what we are doing and are making this shit up as we go along'

Bolshybookworm Sat 05-Nov-16 09:11:18

I wonder if it's more a case of keeping it secret from the British public (and using the EU as a smokescreen), to prevent protest from either side if they don't like the terms. Pure speculation TBH, but I feel like the British press and public have just as much power to derail negotiations as the EU will.

PenguinsAreAce Sat 05-Nov-16 09:22:06

The only thing that would have given us power in the negotiations is refusing to reveal when we trigger art50. I.e. Holding everyone to ransom whilst things got worse and worse until someone negotiated ahead of time. This would have caused massive instability and further economic tanking (likely affecting Europe to some degree too). It might also have led to more social unrest in the UK.

There is no incentive on the other EU countries to agree any kind of deal once art 50 is triggered. They might as well just wait out the 2yrs and kick us out on the big standard crappy terms. That seems to me by far the most likely outcome, especially given that all the other states would need to unanimously agree.

Peregrina Sat 05-Nov-16 09:29:26

Haven't Governments continually used the EU as a smokescreen?

Kaija Sat 05-Nov-16 10:34:13

This might help

Kaija Sat 05-Nov-16 10:34:59

(Or not)

birdybirdywoofwoof Sat 05-Nov-16 11:17:51

I'm planning to use this phrase a lot.

Like when the kids ask whats for lunch.

TheElementsSong Sat 05-Nov-16 11:21:11

Posted on the other thread too:

What they're planning to do is, at the last moment, whip off the holoprojection cloaking device covering what appears to be a nondescript patch of the North Sea... to reveal a sprawling sunlit island containing a thriving R&D sector churning out streams of fully-developed world-beating innovations, a booming manufacturing sector churning out every product we could ever require (from the foremost technological marvels, to handmade artisanal slippers), and overabundance of mineral and natural resources to supply all our material and energy needs for the above, and a burgeoning agricultural sector ensuring a self-sufficiency of wholesome and delicious nourishment for the entire population.

Then they can go "Aha! See, you do need us more than we need you! Take that, Europeans!"

lljkk Sat 05-Nov-16 11:26:25

I want a sprawling sunlit island, weanhh.....
Thanks 4 replies. smile

GetOutMyCar Sat 05-Nov-16 14:12:57

I think the government are totally ignorant of how the rest of Europe works. The UK political/legal system is adversarial, winner takes all. It's all about outwitting the opponent and coming out on top. Keeping cards up your sleeve is seen as clever strategy and acceptable.

Most of the rest of Europe use an inquisitorial system and operate on the principal of consensus. They are used to both parties laying all their cards on the table at the start and then working together towards a mutually acceptable common ground. The UK's approach will be seen as obstructive and dishonest. The government are doing themselves, and the country, no favours.

Tardigrade001 Sat 05-Nov-16 14:24:51

I wonder if it's more a case of keeping it secret from the British public (and using the EU as a smokescreen), to prevent protest from either side if they don't like the terms.

Yes. They want a free hand in negotiating. And to dress whatever deal they end up with as a 'win'.

lljkk Sat 05-Nov-16 15:10:11

I was trying to explain to DD the adversarial system vs consensual approach to politics, today.

I suspect that there is a hardcore of furious Brexiters (UKIP & other deplorables) that want 2 things as minimum -- they will riot if they don't get both: an emotional conviction that UK has "left", and very restricted (esp. EU) immigration. They don't really care about independent trade deals, so I suppose a customs union might suit them ok.

SapphireStrange Sat 05-Nov-16 15:17:22

NotDavid and Pag<, I completely agree with you both.

I fucking despair.

RedToothBrush Sat 05-Nov-16 20:57:28

Its about not showing the public.

Got bugger all about not showing the EU.

TheElementsSong Sun 06-Nov-16 18:41:46

Its about not showing the public. Got bugger all about not showing the EU.


Castironfireplace Sun 06-Nov-16 18:54:41

Or more likely every non popular lynch mob making, riot inducing decision can now be made & blamed on Brexit. The public will lap it up as the 'clever' remainders can blame the 'silly' leavers.

It's the opportunity of a lifetime. It'l be strung out as long as possible. You just have to look at all the jobs going ' because of brexit'. Of course we haven't wanted to get rid of you for ages.

Project Europe was doomed to fail really. It wasnt value for money, do you really think we needed to feed it billions for what it produced? Nothing else could take its place? But every last dime will be squeezed out of it while they still can. People need to stop being so naive.

Mistigri Sun 06-Nov-16 21:10:04

Google translate tells me that "not revealing our hand" actually means "we're going to compromise on free movement but for god's sake don't tell the public until the net migration figures have come down a bit"

Mistigri Sun 06-Nov-16 21:13:12

they will riot

I've been thinking about this today and you've got to wonder who will riot. Anyone seen pictures of UKIP's party conference? Few under 60s in the audience...

Does anyone else care enough? I suppose Nige might whip up a few of his ex-BNP members but that's a tiny number.

lljkk Sun 06-Nov-16 22:09:13

who will riot

The furious people that got on Radio5Live after the high court verdict this week. There were an awful lot of them.
Many were interviewed in that safe Tory seat that had the MP resign (ironic, because the MP is a constitutional lawyer & was dismayed at Theresa May's highhandedness in trying to shut Parliament out of next moves )

Some interviewees said odd stuff, like "I thought we left Europe already!"

Mistigri Sun 06-Nov-16 22:19:14

I don't listen to UK radio, but I occasionally view the accounts of rabid brexiteers on twitter. They are usually quite elderly and comfortably padded.

That's if they are actually british at all, because a lot of the loudest shouting comes from accounts which appear to have no obvious link with the UK.

Maybe these retired bank managers and parish councillors really will take to the streets and start beating up high court judges, but I am sceptical.

mupperoon Sun 06-Nov-16 22:47:15

The loudest shouting Mistigri is probably coming from behind VPNs which mask the real IP address and therefore location of the rabid shouty ones.

I can't imagine my UKIP voting pensioner parents goutily hobbling towards Parliament or the Supreme Court with a bunch of EDL skinheads.

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