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Negotiation Insights

Global Negotiation Map - EU leaders agree to second phase of Brexit negotiations

Global Negotiation Map | 2017 | Week 48

Leaders of the European Union announced today that Brexit negotiations will move on to the second phase of negotiations in January 2018. This announcement comes during the second day of the EU Summit.

Our Global Negotiation Map data has been reporting a significant amount of content created on the announcement of the second phase of Brexit negotiations since Friday morning.

A cooperative tone

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council publicly congratulated Theresa May on the progress accomplished during the talks, which took place this year.

Donald Tusk's conciliatory tone is undoubtedly a signal that the EU27 leaders are willing to collaborate with the UK on the terms of the divorce. In a press conference given by Mr. Tusk as this article is written, he is reported to have congratulated the efforts on both sides to bring the negotiations forward on this second day of the EU Summit.

Opening the second phase of negotiations wouldn’t be possible with the unity of the EU27, the hard work of Michele Barnier and the constructive effort of Theresa May.

 Earlier during the press conference, Macron and Merkel praised the progress of the negotiations, but warned that the next phase would be "an even tougher piece of negotiation than we had up to now." Regardless, this news will surely come as a relief to many, especially Theresa May, as the future of the negotiations remained unsure over the last few months.

The guidelines for the second phase of negotiations were also released today. While these guidelines have a conciliatory tone, they do reflect Ms. Merkel's comments on the difficulty of the negotiations to come. It also requires for the UK to provide further clarity on the framework of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Preparing for the second round of negotiations

While this green light on the second phase of the divorce negotiations can be taken as a sign of willingness to collaborate from both parties, there is still a long road to go for an agreement on the terms of Brexit.

What will take place between now and said second phase is going to be very revealing of the actual intentions of both parties. The strategies they will employ through their communications to the press and on social media could have a significant impact on the terms of the actual negotiations. In this regard, it will be interesting to read between the lines of the various statements to come to decipher the messages both parties are sending each other.

A negotiation can begin well before negotiation partners meet at the table. Communications prior to negotiations are a crucial step in any negotiation strategy, and can make or break chances of success. A misstep at this stage could lead to anchors being set too low or too high, or to positions being misunderstood.

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