Beggars must be choosers

UK emergency negotiating equipment

A UK Brexit Minister is over in the US, signalling desperation.

She said: “Want the prospect of a best-in-class deal on agriculture? Think you will get that from the EU?” See article <here>.

What an odd mix of desperation and arrogance.

Allow me to translate:

“By “best-in-class” I mean that we will now agree to anything. Radioactive chicken? Bring it on. Wiping out the Welsh sheep farmers? Consider it done.” Etc.

Deals are like courtship. Signalling desperation / panic / neediness / haste rarely ends well.

Even when you’re secretly a beggar, you must still act like a chooser.

The Brexiter’s rookie error was not secretly cutting a deal when the UK was still in the EU. In that scenario, the UK had “we can take it or leave it” leverage. Instead, the Brexiters burnt their bridges before deciding to look for a US life-raft.


I’ve dealt with many US business-people down the years. Invariably charming, and invariably insincere, hard-eyed, and unscrupulous. Screwing you over is nothing personal; it’s all in the game. Ruthless is their default setting. Once they smell weakness, they go for the jugular.

Not a thing wrong with that. Trump aside, the Americans have nothing to learn about doing deals. Just don’t blunder in making rookie set-up errors.

It won’t be pretty.

The UK will eventually get a rubbish, one-sided deal, but it’ll be spun as a “great success”.

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