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Published: Jun 02 , 2016
Author: Sam Macbeth

Firstly apologies to the the 1980’s pop group Madness for the title of this blog. The Sun newspaper reported last week that “David Cameron finally manages to get a good deal – after negotiating a second-hand Nissan Micra for Samantha”. Apparently he drove this off the forecourt from the car dealer in his local constituency in Witney, Oxfordshire – very different from the public office £200K Jaguar which he rides in for work...

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Published: Feb 18 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

It’s not that David Cameron does not have his troubles to seek as he shuttles around Europe trying to secure support for a modified agreement with the UK’s fellow European Union member states, but I bet you he wishes he had not been quite so cavalier as to promise an “in-out referendum” in the period leading up to the 2015 UK general election. Politically, he felt that he had to do it to give some kind of sop to the so-called “Euro-sceptic” wing of the Conservative Party and to prevent further haemorrhaging of potential supporters to UKIP...

Published: Nov 12 , 2015
Author: David Bannister

I wrote in this blog about three weeks ago about the commitment given by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to write to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, setting out the demands which the UK would make in its negotiations with the EU prior to a referendum of the British people some time before the end of 2017 which will decide if the UK remains a member of the EU. My blog concerned a draft letter published in the Daily Telegraph, one of our more serious newspapers, written by Eurosceptic MEP, Daniel Hannan. On 10 November, Mr Cameron wrote the letter to Donald Tusk anticipated by Hannan and published its contents. In brief summary they are:

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Published: Oct 22 , 2015
Author: David Bannister

Daniel Hannan is a British Member of the European Parliament (MEP), an institution for which he seems to have little warmth (as do quite a number of other British MEPs). The UK has announced its intention to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the European Union (EU) and to put the issue to a referendum in the next couple of years. The tactics of all of this are of more than passing interest to a negotiator. So far, our Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made only relatively vague references to what issues will be on the agenda when he negotiates with his fellow leaders, some of whom have wasted no time to tell Cameron what they think will not be on the agenda. Those of us interested in the negotiating tactics might conclude (as I do) that not saying what you want is not a great starting point on the journey to getting what you want...

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Published: Jun 25 , 2015
Author: Robin Copland

In or Out – that’s the Negotiation. Now that the Conservative party has been re-elected, the UK will be subject to a referendum, this time about Europe and its continued membership of the European Union. As an aside, those of us who live in Scotland are now becoming a bit jaded with the whole “referendum thing”; they’re a bit like the old Glasgow Corporation 59 bus that I used to know and love – none for forty-odd years, then two in quick succession, but that’s nobody’s fault but ours, so we should not complain. All part of the democratic process, blah-di-blah...

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Published: May 07 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

On the day this blog is published the population of the UK vote in elections for their next government. Opinion polls put the two main parties neck and neck, with neither commanding a strong enough following to win an outright majority. So the result is likely to be a minority government which will have to form a coalition or make deals with the handful of minor parties in order to be able to govern. Even if there is an outright majority for one party the margin will be so small that alliances will need to be forged for effective government to survive. Do we have a cadre of politicians who can rise to the challenge of creating these deals through effective and inspired negotiating?...

Published: Mar 26 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

This morning (Tuesday 24th March) the news is awash with the revelation that the British Prime Minister says that he will not serve a third term as the leader of the Conservative party, and therefore leader of the country, should they be re-elected, again and again. Now bearing in mind he has not won the next election it seems remarkably confident, or arrogant to think he could possibly win the one after...

Published: Feb 20 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Valentine’s Day gone. Red Roses wilting depressingly in the vase perched on the window sill. Champagne cork stuck behind the book on the top shelf where it landed and will remain, probably till we move house. Promises made in the heat of the night, vaguely remembered. Including the one about agreeing to do whatever it takes to get that leaking shower unit fixed (bet you were not expecting such a pedestrian promise) before our extended families descend on us for Easter, aquaplaning as it approaches in the outside lane...

Published: Feb 28 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

The British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the talks with John Kerry, the new US Secretary of State, would be so far reaching that it would be difficult to know where to start. I am sure he was joking. At least I hope he was.....

Published: Nov 02 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

Years ago I got a call from a client with whom we had a long-term project-based relationship. We had submitted some creative work for a project along with a fee proposal. Our fee was in line with previous work, and we knew from our benchmarking alongside other creative agencies that whilst we were not the cheapest, we certainly offered great value. We had always scored highly against the client’s quality scorecards. My client contact told me that his procurement director had been reviewing marketing costs and was all over him like a cheap suit....

Published: Dec 16 , 2011
Author: Stephen White

As the invective from senior French politicians as a result of the UK’s negotiating position at the European summit last week becomes harsher, we should maybe ponder the wisdom that long term relationships benefit from Win-Win negotiating style...

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Up A Mountain

The highlight of the holidays, which after this week’s biblical weather seems a long time ago, was some energetic romping about in the Cantabrian mountains in Northern Spain. There is a beautiful spot in the heart of the Picos de Europa where we have been going for nearly two decades. And in this hiking paradise, we celebrate the fact that despite the absolute confidence ahead of each adventure we embark on, meticulous packing of walking maps and charging up of GPS enabled smartphones, we know we will get lost.

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