Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Brexit White Paper

The Prime Minister has shot another fox in the great Brexit debate. The latest focus for those not entirely supportive of the UK leaving the EU was a demand for a White Paper setting out the Govt's plans. This particular fox was just generating a bit of pace, when Theresa May despatched it by announcing that she intends to publish the demanded White Paper.

Must admit I personally was not that keen for both security and political reasons. The Prime Minister will have to be careful not to include in a White Paper any information that could prove useful to those sitting opposite her at a future negotiating table. Whatever is included, there will be those who will not be satisfied - in fact would not be satisfied until the Govts opponents were in a position to create an impossible negotiating position. I also think the Prime Minister will be careful not to set unacheivable targets, creating opportunities to accuse a future Govt of 'failures'. A White Paper will set out what the Prime Minister will hope to acheive as entering a negotiation. Inevitably there will be some 'give and take'. I feel sure these dangers will be avoided.

Today's announcement does have real benefit apart from the tactical fox-shooting aspect. It creates goodwill and by agreeing to what those who have opposed Leave, and may be fearful of the outcome have wanted. So even though I was a bit doubtful, I can see a White Paper may have some benefit.

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