• Number of issues: This is a multi-issue negotiation. The central, or most pressing issues, are trade, immigration, money paid to the EU, regulations, financial services, and the free movement of people.
• Number of parties: At the most simplistic level, these negotiations can be thought as being between two parties – the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). The EU, however, is not a single entity – it is comprised of 27 remaining member states, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. The United Kingdom’s government consists of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, 24 Whitehall Departments, and 418 English local councils. All parties will participate in the process and will be required to approve the final deal.
• Nature of relationship: The EU and the UK have had an ongoing relationship for around 43 years (Britain joined the European Community in 1973). After negotiating the terms of UK’s “divorce” from the EU, the future of the UK–EU relationship will also have to be negotiated/discussed.
• BATNA: Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty between the EU and the UK, there is a two-year deadline for a withdrawal agreement to be finalized (unless the European Council members unanimously agree to extend the deadline). If an agreement cannot be reached, the EU treaties will no longer apply to the UK. The UK will essentially have no arrangement on dealing with the transition, creating uncertainty for EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa, for trade agreements, and for EU’s financial support towards dependent UK organizations. By default, the UK and the EU would trade according the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulati...
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...t their leisure.
• Issues to be negotiated and priority over the issues
o UK – Trade, immigration, money paid to the EU, regulations, financial services, and the free movement of people. For the UK, free movement of the people and immigration are of highest priority, since the refugee crisis and terrorism have sparked fear amongst most Brexit supporters. Trade follows subsequently, and the priority for the rest of the issues remains unclear.
o EU – The EU is also negotiating trade, immigration, money paid to the EU, regulations, financial services, and the free movement of people. For the EU, however, the free movement of people – part of the four freedoms – remains the most crucial, as does their stance that the UK to uphold all four freedoms. Trade and money paid to the EU (since the UK is the 2nd largest financial contributor) will probably tie as close seconds.
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