Brexit negotiations: how political positioning might impact UK energy policy

An optimist might think that the UK and the EU could negotiate Brexit by putting aside all the things that both sides agree on and focusing their energies on the smaller list of issues that divides them? Negotiations are seldom like that in practice. For many businesses, making the best of Brexit may be the biggest strategic challenge you face in the next decade.

As John Maynard Keynes put it “When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position.” Add to the mix a healthy dose of national politics, the fear of contagion and the fact that this negotiation will play out in the crucible of public opinion and we are likely to see some robust rhetoric from both sides as each seeks to position politically and create leverage for the Brexit negotiations.

It has started already, of course, with France, Germany and others indicating that there can be no Brexit negotiations until the UK triggers Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, starting a two year clock that leads to the UK’s exit from the EU, even if the terms of that exit have not been agreed.

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