Can’t help feeling a take on the current stalemate is being missed.
(I’m a strong remainer, and see continuing with #Brexit as a damage-limitation / opportunity-maximisation exercise. Referenda? Don’t get me started. But rather than be that bystander wanting to start from somewhere else, surely the best route out of this mess is obvious:)
That is, obviously we have no real knowledge of the actual quality of negotiation dialogues between UK and EU teams, it would be mad to expect the public reporting to reflect to reality or totality of what’s going on – that’s the nature of any negotiation.
The question of whose court the ball is in is irrelevant too, as is the idea that “no deal” is some take-it-or-leave-it walk-away option. So, how about this:
Whatever the content of the proposals (offers) we’ve made so far to the EU, there will ALWAYS be the devil in more detail not yet tabled explicitly. All we need to know is if the EU rejects or disagrees with anything – at the level of detail – we’ve so far proposed. “No comment” is no disagreement; “Ah, but what about detail xyz” is no disagreement. The ball is always in our court unless we receive counter proposals.
Pretty sure all the existing agreements we need to honour or change – content and financial – will be the problem of many separate UK institutions and organisations, not just central government and its ministries. That’s where the detail will be resolved. The less detail agreed by the central UK team the better surely? Even the legal standards and court-jurisdiction stuff.
Obviously – as I’ve said since Cameron first announced the mad idea – the whole thing has always been a waste of time and effort and risk to good-will and good-order, but the worst use of that effort would be to have a central team attempt to commit to badly negotiated details on a 52/48 mandate.