Here we are again, another round of latre night, over the weekend, Pret-eating, high stress negotiations. You would have thought we had become quite skilled at these given they have been a constant stream for nearly 4 years now.
But from what I can see, no, no progress has been made. The whole point of negotiaitons is to, err, negotiate. if you just turn up with a list of red lines which can't be crossed, then not much will ever be achieved.
The original concept is that you have some giveaways, some core red lines and somethings you will only give up in order to close a deal and also if the other side gives something back. That way you get a good deal.
With the EU, they seem to have very firm lines, this is ahuge drawback of having to agree them with 27 in the first place, it makes them a very inflexible negotiator which is a big risk to ever dealing with the EU. I think the EU makes them seem it is powerful, but in fact it just shows the whole thing for the ponderous animal that it is.
For the UK side, a no deal is disastrous and represents and outcome only the most crazed anti-EU people ever wanted. Even Farage and his pals all thought we would get a deal of some sort. If it comes to leaving the EU with no deal it is a huge failure of UK statecraft. Why is there no back up plan for a Norway or Swiss light, or even an Australian type deal? The UK has staked its economic future on an all-or-nothing free trade deal with the EU. Frankly, it has been a terrible strategy for a while, whislt it played well in a 2019 election, it has been a waste of another year to pursue this single strategy.
Of course, if it works then many will say what a great plan and team we have, however, to be less than 50/50 the day before the deadline is not good at all.