Even the negotiation process itself allows the EU to do well by doing good. The EU side is considering opening much of the negotiation to public view by publishing negotiation mandates and other documents. That is a good thing in itself: transparency is essential to create public support for trade deals. But, as Alan Beattie explains, it will also be tactically helpful to the EU side (beyond making a virtue of necessity in leak-prone Brussels). An open negotiation makes it easier to defend red lines — but above all, in the specific case of Brexit negotiations, it is likely to wrongfoot the British side more than it could cause trouble in EU capitals given the deep divisions that May has to bridge at home and the general incoherence of what the Leave campaign promised voters at the referendum.
Some have tried to point out to the British public the imbalance between the EU27 and the UK in the Brexit talks. If the EU side plays its cards right, the UK is in an even worse position than those warnings suggest.
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