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Avoid making this mistake in negotiations

By Michel Ghazal on 9 September 2019

Since taking office, Boris Johnson has brandished what he would do if the European Union refused to renegotiate the deal struck with Theresa May: an exit with a " no deal "on 31 October.

The dispute relates in particular to one point: the " safety net "designed to protect Europe from non-European products AND to avoid creating a physical border between the 2 Irelands.

In fact, Boris Johnson has put forward his Best Alternative to a negotiated deal (his BATNA): a "hard Brexit". From a strictly negotiating point of view, was he right to do so?

A MESORE can hide a PISORE

While we strongly recommend that negotiators find a MESORE before entering into negotiations and that they constantly strive to improve it, we warn them about the conditions of its use: should it be revealed? at what point? and above all, how should it be done to avoid blocking exchanges?

If you're negotiating a pay rise, it's important to have another job offer with the desired salary already in your pocket. If the person you are negotiating with clearly refuses to discuss it, you can always say: "... I'd be happy to take you up on that offer. I didn't want to tell you about it to avoid blocking you, but I've received another, more attractive offer that corresponds to my value on the market. I'd be delighted if together we could find a solution that comes close to this and is satisfactory for both of us. ". If this proves impossible, you can resign with peace of mind. But if you don't have any other offers and you still like the company, you should avoid threatening to leave your line manager if he refuses to give you the increase you're asking for. He or she is bound to take it badly, and is likely to retort: the door is wide open. In that case, you'd be well and truly trapped.

In the case of Boris Johnson, while it is true that his MESORE is a declared exit from the EU with a "No Deal", it is also true that he has not really measured its value.

On the one hand, Michel Barnier has made it clear that the " safety net "On the other hand, BoJo is facing a rebellion in Parliament, which has outvoted him on several occasions and is preparing to enact anti-no-deal legislation; He also sees the threat of the break-up of the United Kingdom looming, with the prospect of a second independence referendum in Scotland and Sinn Fein once again calling for the reunification of Ireland.

Hence the question: is the Prime Minister's MESORE in fact a PISORE (Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)?

When MESORE is not attractive, we recommend that negotiators do not make the mistake of threatening to use it. On the contrary, we encourage them to be open to negotiation and to be inventive in finding other solutions to best satisfy their interests. Is it not possible, for example, to imagine a " safety net The question is: "What is the difference between the 2 Irelands only and not the whole of the United Kingdom?

In conclusion

While it is certainly in the EU's interest to reach an agreement, it cannot be reached at any price. Similarly, it is essential to surround oneself with reliable allies who can guarantee their support before informing the other party of one's intentions if the negotiations fail. In the context of an ongoing relationship, the MESORE, which defines the balance of power in a negotiation, must be handled with extreme caution.

Instead of separating from Europe, is the British Prime Minister in the process of transforming the United Kingdom into a United Kingdom?

And what do you think?

See also

the European Negotiation Centre, quoted in Le Point.

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